Europa League Group Stage reward for referee Rob Harvey

Mon, Oct 21 2019

Rob Harvey Credit: Eddie Lennon (ETPhotos)

Referee Rob Harvey will lead a team of match officials from the League of Ireland in the group stages of the Europa League this week.

He will be in Sweden for Thursday’s Group B clash between Malmo and Lugano with Wayne McDonnell and Mark Gavin running the line and Neil Doyle acting as fourth official.

Harvey was promoted to the FIFA International Referee list in 2016 and took charge of his first European game that year when he officiated a Flora Tallinn home game in the Europa League second qualifying round in Estonia. 

The following season he took charge of the first round game between Valur Reykjavik and Ventspils.

Last season he did two more Europa League qualifiers and having been in charge for two further qualifiers earlier this season, he is now set to become only the second Irish official to referee in the group stages of a UEFA competition and the first since 2013.

Alan Kelly officiated 17 group stage games during his time in the League of Ireland.

His last appearance in the middle was in the 2013/14 season. He took charge of the Europa League group stage game in Moldova between Sheriff and Anzhi Makhachkala before taking charge of the Champions League game in Germany between Bayern Munich and Viktoria Pilzen. 

Harvey will take charge of the game in Malmo where both teams are seeking their first win of the group stage. Both Malmo and Swiss side Lugano have a point on the board, having lost away on Matchday 1 and drawn at home on Matchday 2. Copenhagen and Dinamo Kiev are the other two teams in the group. 

Malmo, who are managed by former Manchester City striker Uwe Rosler, are in the Europa League Group Stages for the second successive year.

They began their campaign this season by beating Ballymena United 11-0 on aggregate in the First Qualifying Round and reached the group stages by eliminating Bnei Yeduda 4-0 on aggregate.