World Cup Referees: Thursday, June 26
These appointments came quite late compared to the other appointments, which usually came early in the morning two days before the match was played.
The one other exception: Brazil’s second match against Mexico. Officials had been accused of favoritism in Brazil’s first game, including a soft penalty, and had disallowed two onside goals for Mexico. Cuneyt Cakir was announced for that one quite late.
Before this match, there’s been much talk in the press of possible Germany-USA collusion, particularly since Jurgen Klinsmann, USA’s coach, is German. Since both teams only need a draw to move on, the talk goes that the teams will ‘wink and nod’ and play to a draw.
There is no evidence at all of this – it’s all pretty much speculation – but match fixing has followed this Cup like a dark cloud. No doubt, FIFA wanted to protect their referee (who would be implicated in such a scheme, fairly or not).
So I was a little surprised to see the appointment of Uzbekistan’s Ravshan Irmatov (above, in South Africa). He was impressive a few days ago, but he did miss a pretty big call (handball in the box). Truthfully, I was expecting more of a “statement ref”, like a Howard Webb or Cuneyt Cakir. FIFA may have felt like having a referee from a completely different continent was the best choice here.
Will be interesting to see what happens if this ends in a nil-nil draw…
Referee: Nawaf SHUKRALLA (BHR)
Assistant Referee 1: Yaser Tulefat (BHR)
Assistant Referee 2: Ebrahim Saleh (BHR)
Fourth Official: Wilmar Roldan (COL)
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abduxamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Bakhadyr Kochkarov (KGZ)
Fourth Official: Alioum (CMR)
Referee: Benjamin Williams (AUS)
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream (AUS)
Assistant Referee 2: Hakan Anaz(AUS)
Fourth Official: Victor Carrillo (PER)
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)
Assistant Referee 1: Bahattin Duran (TUR)
Assistant Referee 2: Tarik Ongun (TUR)
Fourth Official: Joel Aguilar (SLV)
Featured Photo: Zimbio