How much do Soccer Referees in Europe and Latin America Earn?

In LatinAmerican Post we tell you the details and the salary differences between the referees in the European leagues and those who live in Latin America.

Referee in a soccer match

Photo: Freepik

LatinAmerican Post | Theoscar Mogollón González

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Leer en español: ¿Cuánto es el salario de los árbitros de fútbol en Europa y Latinoamérica?

It is no secret to anyone that in soccer the protagonists must always be the players. Sometimes coaches take on that starring role, too, either for personality reasons or to take some of the pressure off their players. However, there is a third factor that mostly goes unnoticed before, during and after each game, whose figure is one of the most important in this sport: the referee.

Those who are in charge of delivering justice during the 90 minutes have to bear a responsibility that, on occasions, is not very well paid. As with players, the difference in salaries between some referees and others tends to be enormous. But we are not referring only to those from the same country, but also to the gap that exists between those of Europe and those of Latin America. What is the cause of that? Do they receive a monthly or party salary? And what about the assistants, fourth official and VAR managers?

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Europeans at the forefront

For many fans, the best soccer is European, and therefore the referees with the best salary adjustments are there. There are several factors that are included in that salary, such as weekly work, preparation for matches, studies, and training on the pitch. However, there is a detail that stands out both on that side of the world and in Latin America, and that is that not all members enjoy the prestige of being internationally recognized. In other words, those who wear the FIFA cockade have a plus when it comes to charging more for image rights.

But if there is something that has drawn a lot of attention on this issue, it is the fact that Spanish referees are the best positioned in all of Europe. On average, a La Liga referee is in charge of directing 20 games per season and each game is paid 4,200 euros ($4,600) for those on the field and 2,100 ($2,300) for those in the VAR. To all this we must add the figure of 12,500 euros ($13,700) which is the monthly salary received by all professional referees in Spain.

For their part, the referees of the Premier League are one step below, despite the fact that English soccer is the one that moves the most money in the entire old continent. For them, the monthly salary is 8,500 euros (9,315 dollars), plus 2,200 ($2,400) for each game they lead (1,100 euros or $1,205 for VAR). The average number of parties led is also 20, although some may exceed that figure and take it to 28 if they are sufficiently recognized.

In the case of Serie A in Italy, there are many variables. Depending on fame and role on the field, the monthly salary of a referee varies between 3,900 ($4,275) and 6,500 euros ($7,100), in addition to factors such as image rights and number of matches to direct. (the average is between 15 and 16 games). The amount that a main judge receives is 3,400 euros ($3,725) per game, while the assistants get 1,000 euros ($1,095), the fourth referee gets 500 euros ($550), and some 1,500 ($1,645) for those in charge of the VAR.

Finally, in the Bundesliga they are divided between FIFA referees, those who have been in the profession for more than five years, and the rest. The fixed monthly value is 6,000 euros ($6,575), 4,000 euros ($4,385) and 2,500 euros ($2,740), respectively. Earnings per match range from 5,000 euros ($5,480) to 3,600 euros ($3,945) for the main referee, 2,500 euros ($2,740) for assistants, about 1,250 euros ($1,370) for the fourth referee and 1,100 ($1,205) for the VAR. It is worth mentioning that, regardless of nationality, the UEFA Champions League pays 7,000 euros ($7,670) to all its referees.

The differences in Latin America

One of the countries that works to dignify the efforts of the members is Mexico. In fact, they are the only ones on the continent that have the privilege of earning a fixed salary per month (about $1,500), and that is due to an initiative of the Mexican Football Federation. Likewise, the bonus for directed parties is about 2,000 dollars, a figure that places this profession as one of the best paid in the Aztec nation.

In Argentina, on the other hand, the amount received by referees with international status was announced in recent days. As stated in an interview with the Infobae portal, Miguel Scime, former referee and former director of referees in the Argentine Football Association, the basic income of a main judge is 482,000 Argentine pesos (approximately 2,200 dollars), in addition to a bonus per match of 79,000 pesos (about 360 dollars). Meanwhile, the linesmen and VAR managers charge 50% less than the figure of the main referee.

At this point, it is worth remembering that in all Latin American countries, referees do not have a fixed monthly income, but rather earnings per game they manage. Brazil is the one that pays the best in this sense, giving some 2,400 dollars to a FIFA category referee, while those who are not received about 1,500 dollars. For its part, Ecuador is the one that is closest to equaling the powers of the region, since for this season its referees have begun to receive $1,100 in salary per game.

With the intention of dignifying this work, the situation in Colombia with the referees looks positive compared to previous years. For this 2023, a main referee will receive 2,500,000 Colombian pesos (about 560 dollars) per match, the assistants 1,815,000 pesos (405 dollars), the fourth referee 252,000 pesos (60 dollars), while the person in charge of the VAR 1,842. 000 pesos (410 dollars).

In the rest of the countries, the approximate salary of the main referees per game directed is as follows: Bolivia 250 dollars, Chile between 700 and 600 dollars, depending on whether they are international or not, Paraguay between 400 and 300 dollars, in Peru about 600 Adding the travel expenses granted by the federation, Uruguay rates them at 800 dollars, while in Venezuela there is the peculiarity that they are paid according to the kilometers traveled.

Finally, for those referees who are called to direct a Copa Libertadores or Copa Sudamericana match, the payment varies according to the phase in which they act: Group Phase $3,300 for the main player and $2,450 for the assistants, round of 16 $3,700 and $2,700 dollars, quarterfinals $4,000 and $3,100, semifinals $10,000 and $7,000, and the final $20,000 and $16,000.

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