JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov will work Friday's opening World Cup match between Mexico and South Africa.
Carlos Simon of Brazil got the high-profile United States-England game next Saturday.
An international ref since 2003, Irmatov is the only Uzbek referee to have officiated in the final stages of a FIFA tournament. He is currently rated the Asian confederation's top referee.
Irmatov worked eight qualifying matches for the World Cup. He also handled the final game of the 2008 World Club Championship between Manchester United and Liga de Quito.
Friday's other opening-day match, France vs. Uruguay, will be officiated by Yuichi Nishimura of Japan.
Also next Saturday, Wolfgang Stark of Germany will handle the Argentina-Nigeria match, while South Korea vs. Greece will be worked by New Zealand's Michael Hester.
Two Mexicans will officiate early games. Mexico's Marco Rodriguez has Germany-Australia on June 13. Countryman Benito Archundia will referee Italy vs. Parguay on June 14.
The first 16 officiating assignments were announced Saturday night by FIFA.