The 39-year-old Belgian referee Eric Lambrechts will officiate the European qualification in group “G” between the national football teams of Serbia and Bulgaria, which will be played on November 19 (Sunday) at 16:00 at the Dubocica stadium in Leskovac.
His assistants will again be Belgians – Jo de Weirdt and Kevin Monteni, and the fourth referee is Nathan Fairboomen.
The referees who will be responsible for the Video Assistance System (VAS) are from the Netherlands. The VAR referee is Paul van Bukkel, and the VAR assistant is Jan Boterberg. The referee observer is Michael Thomas Ross from Northern Ireland, and the choice of UEFA delegate is more than curious. This is the former goalkeeper of Litex (Lovech) Florin Prunya, who in 2000 was a player for the “Oranges”.
Chief Justice Lambrechts was born on the 17th of September 1984 in Leuven and played football as a teenager for the local club Kessel-Lo. In 2012, he entered the ranks of the local first league as a referee, and made his European debut in the 2014/15 season, when he was sent to referee the preliminary round match between Sligo Rovers (Republic of Ireland) and Rosenborg (Norway) in the Europa League on UEFA. After that, however, his development slowed down and he remained in Group 1 of the ranking list of the European headquarters, where Georgi Kabakov is also. It was only this year that he made his debut in the Champions League and on November 7, 2023, he managed the match between Manchester City and the Swiss Young Boys (Bern).
It is curious that he is a bit more liberal and it is difficult to pick up cards, as in the matches of the national teams he did not show a single red. He managed one match of Bulgaria and it was the visit of Finland on October 11, 2020 in the League of Nations. The Lions fall 0-2, and the Belgian does not show a single penalty card in 90 minutes. It’s lucky for Serbia, because on October 12, 2021, they lead the World Qualifier with Azerbaijan and they beat 3:1.
In 2021, he was elected judge number 1 in Belgium, and in his private life he is a professor of economics at the University of Leuven.
Serbia need a point to qualify for next year’s European finals. Bulgaria will be playing for their honor and for their first win in the calendar year, after having 3 draws and 4 defeats in the campaign so far.