KEIR RADNEDGE in ST PETERSBURG: Colombia’s Wilmar Roldán will referee the Opening Match of the Confederations Cup between hosts Russia and New Zealand in St Petersburg on Saturday.
Roldan, an international referee since 2008, has been officiating in the Colombian domestic league since 2003.
His FIFA experience includes the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey, the 2014 World Cup, the 2015 Club World Cup 2015 in Japan and Olympic football tournament Rio de Janeiro last year.
In February this year Roldan issued the earliest-ever yellow card in the history of the Copa Libertadores when he booked Pablo Escobar of The Strongest after only eight seconds.
Assistant referees will be fellow Colombians Alexander Guzman and Cristian de la Cruz while the fourth official will be Mark William Eiger from the United States. The video assistant referees will be Sandro Ricci from Brazil, Joe Fletcher from Canada and Enrique Caceres from Paraguay.
One of Roldan’s new instructions from the world football federation will mean acting against mob protests by players.
FIFA and IFAB orders
FIFA has formally launched the initiative jointly with the game’s law-making body IFAB amid a strategy “focusing on improving fairness and the image of the game.”
IFAB’s technical director David Elleray said: “Referees, players, coaches and fans all agree that improving player behaviour and respect for all participants – especially match officials – increasing playing time and the game’s fairness and attractiveness must be football’s main priority.”
FIFA technical director Marco van Basten also said in St Petersburg that referees had been told to be more accurate in adding time for major delays such as injuries and substitutions.
They will also be expected to add on time for goal-scoring celebrations.
Van Basten said: “The ‘play fair’ initiative aims to promote fairness and integrity, ensure the game is accessible to everyone and optimize the use of technology.”