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Impact v TFC - Tonight’s Man In The Middle - David Gantar

Canadian ref who’s been on the FIFA list since 2011...

Montreal Impact v Toronto FC
Bernardo Corradi gets a talking to from David Gantar during the Canadian Championship semi-final at BMO Field in 2012
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The man charged with maintaining order this evening at Stade Saputo is Edmonton’s David Gantar (45).

It will be his sixth Impact-TFC derby, but only his second at Stade Saputo. Impact has won one and lost four of the previous five.

It will only be the second time Mr Ganter has taken charge of an MLS game between the sides. Usually he’s been in control of Canadian Championship ties including the second-leg of the 2014 final when Felipe Martins’ 91st minute rocket clinched the title for Montreal Impact.

Tonight’s man in the middle is the only ref ever to straight-red-card Impact legend Patrice Bernier twice, each in Canadian Championship games at BMO Field against Toronto FC (2016 & 2017).

Nine Impact players have seen yellow in derbies under Mr Gantar, including three for Hernan Bernardello, while four Reds have received cautions. Richard Eckersley, a former Manchester United player is the only TFC player to be dismissed by tonight’s ref in the Canadian Classique. It happened in the 16th minute of the Canadian Championship semi-final in 2012. Toronto still won the game 2-0.

Mr Gantar has accumulated vast experience through his officiating not only in MLS, but internationally and has represented Canada at various tournaments. He also took charge of the first-ever Canadian Premier league match between Forge FC and York9 in 2019 and has refereed in both the Indian and Chinese, Premier Leagues.

Away from football, Gantar has an MBA from the University of Alberta and is the Director, Strategy & Improvement at NorQuest, College in Edmonton.

In all Mr Gantar has taken charge of Montreal Impact games 9 times (3 MLS, 6 Canadian Championship). The Bleu/Blanc/Noir has won only one, drawn one and lost the other seven, scoring 7 goals and conceding 19.