The Spanish referee’s committee, has appointed José María Sánchez Martínez to officiate the first El Clasico in the league at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium on December 23.
It will be the third time the Murcian match official will have taken charge of a match involving either Real Madrid or Barcelona this season. He was the centre referee when Madrid oversaw a 3-0 victory over Las Palmas in the Bernabéu. He also took charge of Barca’s win over Girona at the Montilivi’s stadium earlier in the campaign.
It will not be his first Clásico either, the referee took charge of the second leg of the 2017 Spanish Super Cup, which Madrid won 2-0 to complete a 5-1 aggregate victory over Barcelona.
Sánchez Martínez earned his FIFA international referee status on January 1 of this year, replacing Carlos Velasco Carballo after he retired. According to Spanish daily, AS, The referee’s committee takes international status into account when selecting a Clásico referee and also highlighted the 34-year-old’s solid performances this season.