World Cup Appointments: Friday, June 13

The referees for the first two days are a very pancontinental bunch, with one referee each from Asia, Africa, South America and Europe.

Friday sees one of the biggest matchups of the early stages: Spain v. Netherlands. This repeat of the 2010 final will have huge implications for how the tournament shapes up, and has been given to Italy’s Nicola Rizzoli.

It’s not a surprise, really; he’s at the top of his game and widely considered to be one of the best referees in the world. He also doesn’t take a lot of shit, so hopefully we’ll see more football and less karate in this match.

The only thing surprising is that he’s a European referee with two European teams, something FIFA has tried to avoid in the past. But with only 25 center referees (not counting support), that sort of thing will be harder to avoid.

Still, it’s a big honor for Rizzoli and an indication of what FIFA and Massimo Busacca think of him. It also lends fuel to the speculative fires that he’s a candidate for the final. But that’s a long way away and he has to perform…

Here are the appointments:

Mexico v. Cameroon

Referee: Wilmar Roldan (Colombia)
Assistant: Humberto Clavijo (Colombia)
Assistant: Eduardo Diaz
Fourth Official: Norbert Hauata (Tahiti)

Spain v. Netherlands

Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
Assistant: Renato Faverani (Italy)
Assistant: Andrea Stefani (Italy)
Fourth Official: Svein Oddvar Moen (Norway)

Chile v. Australia


Referee: Noumandiez Doue (Ivory Coast)
Assistant: Songulfolo Yeo (Ivory Coast)
Assistant: Jean Claude Birumushahu (Burundi)
Fourth Official: Roberto Moreno (Panama)

Featured photo: Nicola Rizzoli (


  • I expect two further Europeans to handle the next two all-European games. Brych/Kuipers for England – Italy and Webb for Germany – Portugal.

    Rizzoli is a good choice for what could be a heated affair. However, he cannot have another CL final performance. Probably the most in form European referee, exceptional performances in both Arsenal – Bayern and Chelsea – Atletico. Eriksson would also have been a good appointment, Rizzoli is a decent choice nonetheless.

    Looking forward to watching Roldan, who I feel will go far in this tournament. Best CONMEBOL referee, IMO. This is despite being the youngest official selected.

    Nishimura was expected, not much to write about him. We know what he brings to the table.

    Doue on the other hand isn’t well known. He was okay and nothing more in last year’s U-20 WC. Interesting to see how he fares.


    • Looks like you were right about the Europeans, but it’s Kuipers for England v Italy and Brych for Uruguay.

      It makes sense. Kuipers is more highly rated than Brych, so he gets the bigger match…


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