SAO PAULO: Japan’s Yuichi Nishimura has been assigned as the referee for the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ between Brazil and Croatia on Thursday. He will be assisted by compatriots Toru Sagara and Toshiyuki Nagi, with Alireza Faghani of Iran designated as the fourth official.
His appointment is among referee designations for the first four matches.
Nishimura, 42, is set to become the third Japanese referee to have officiated at two World Cup finals tournaments after Shizuo Takada (1986 and 1990) and Toru Kamikawa (2002 and 2006). At South Africa 2010 he handled four matches, including the quarter-final encounter between Holland and Brazil.
Since making his international refereeing debut in 2004, Nishimura has been assigned to numerous other finals tournaments: the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2007 (including the final between Spain and Nigeria), the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2009, the FIFA Club World Cup 2010 (including the final between TP Mazembe and Internazionale), the Olympic Football Tournament 2012 and two editions of the Asian Cup in 2007 and 2011. In addition, Nishimura was selected for the finals of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2008.
In 2012 Yuichi Nishimura was named AFC Men’s Referee of the Year.