DUBAI: Ravshan Irmatov, widely regarded as one of the best match officials in the world of refereeing, has been appointed to oversee the eagerly-anticipated final between Japan and Qatar at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on Friday.
The 41-year-old from Uzbekistan, who is no stranger to high-profile encounters, will be officiating in his second AFC Asian Cup final, having managed the 2011 final between Japan and Australia in Qatar.
He will be assisted by compatriots Abdukhamidullo Rasulov and Jakhongir Saidov (UZB) with Ma Ning from China PR named as the fourth official. Italian Paolo Valeri has been appointed as the VAR and will be supported by assistants Muhammad Taqi bin Jahari from Singapore and Australia’s Christopher Beath.
At 32, Irmatov was the youngest referee at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa before going to set the record for managing the highest number of matches at the FIFA World Cup when he officiated his 11th encounter last June in Russia 2018.
The five-time AFC Referee of the Year award recipient has also taken charge of the AFC Champions League final on five occasions in his illustrious career.
His other notable highlights include appointments at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2017 and 2008 FIFA Club World Cups, the 2015 edition of the AFC Asian Cup, and the 2012 Olympic Games Football Tournament.