Irmatov in CONCACAF Champions League Semi-finals

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (Concacaf) announced a referee exchange with the Asian Football Confederation, which will begin when the AFC provides referees for next week’s Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League semi-final return leg in Mexico City, between Major League Soccer’s Toronto FC and Liga MX’s Club America. Uzbek referee Ravshan Irmatov, the youngest referee ever to whistle a FIFA World Cup opening match and five-time AFC Referee of the Year, will lead the referee team assigned to the match. As part of the reciprocal referee exchange with the AFC, a yet-to-be-determined Concacaf referee trio will referee an Asian Football Confederation Champions League semi-final later this year. The referee exchange comes about as part of cooperation delineated in Concacaf’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) signed last year, which enumerates ways in which the two Confederations can cooperate towards continued growth of the game across both regions. Both Concacaf and AFC have seen explosive growth in club and national team football in recent decades. “The appointment of three-time FIFA World Cup Referee Ravshan Irmatov to our Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League semi-final marks a historic moment for refereeing in Concacaf”, said Concacaf Director of Refereeing Brian Hall. “We are honored to have a referee, with his pedigree, lead our teams onto the field at Azteca Stadium. Mr. Irmatov’s appointment will also pave the way future exchanges that will help strengthen refereeing in both Confederations”. The AFC’s Irmatov will direct the Mexico City semi-final along with two countrymen, Abdukhamidullo Rasulov and Jakhongir Saidov. Irmatov has been a FIFA referee since 2003 and is a five-time AFC Referee of the Year (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014). His career includes the honour of being the youngest referee to ever officiate the opening match of a FIFA World Cup when he took the field in South Africa 2010. Following South Africa and Brazil 2014, Irmatov will make his third consecutive World Cup appearance this summer in Russia. Entering his third FIFA World Cup, Irmatov already holds the record for most matches ever officiated in the World Cup competition: a total of 9. The winner of the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League will represent the region in the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. (Source: Concacaf)

First Leg, 3-4 April 2018

Toronto FC – Club America
Referee: Henry Bejarano (CRC)
Assistant Referee 1: Carlos Fernandez (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Ainsley Rochard (TRI)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Montero (CRC)

CD Guadalajara – New York Red Bulls
Referee: John Pitti (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Gabriel Victoria (PAN)
Assistant Referee 2: Christian Ramirez (HON)
Fourth Official: Kimbell Ward (SKN)

Second Leg, 10 April 2018

Club America – Toronto FC
Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 1: Abdukhamidullo Rasulov (UZB)
Assistant Referee 2: Jakhongir Saidov (UZB)
Fourth Official: Ricardo Montero (CRC)

New York Red Bulls – CD Guadalajara
Referee: Walter Lopez (GUA)
Assistant Referee 1: Juan Zumba (SLV)
Assistant Referee 2: Osvaldo Luna (CRC)
Fourth Official: Hector Rodriguez (HON)