Irmatov sets new World Cup record

Ravshan Irmatov set a milestone in the Netherlands – Costa Rica game, becoming the first referee to officiate nine World Cup matches. Four-time Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Referee of the Year, Irmatov handled the last quarter-final tie in Brazil, his fourth game at the competition, after overseeing three group stage matches: Switzerland – Ecuador, Croatia – Mexico and USA – Germany.
The Uzbek has been a FIFA referee since 2003 and made his World Cup debut in 2010 where he also set a few tournament records. The 36-year-old's first World Cup game was the 2010 opening fixture between hosts South Africa and Mexico. Taking charge of five matches in South Africa, he equalled the record for most number of matches officiated in a single World Cup, when he was selected for the Netherlands – Uruguay semi-final. At 32 years of age, he was also the tournament's youngest referee that year. The previous record for the most number of World Cup matches (8) overseen by a referee was held by three individuals. Joel Quiniou of France first set the record in 1994, before both Jorge Larrionda of Uruguay and Benito Archundia of Mexico equalled it in 2010.