Rashván Irmátov, the best referee in the World Cup in South Africa

Uzbek referee Rashván Irmátov made himself known to the general public during this World Cup. He was surprised by his appointment to referee the opening match between South Africa and Mexico, but he passed tests with good marks until he was chosen to direct the semi-final between Uruguay and the Netherlands in Cape Town. A feat for Uzbekistan, a country with little soccer tradition.

In an unbeatable setting, Irmatov showed his level in the three matches he refereed in the group stage: South Africa-Mexico, England-Algeria and Greece-Argentina. FIFA rewarded his great performances by assigning him the Argentina-Germany quarterfinals with which it seemed that he would say goodbye to South Africa. But he was still missing another surprise, to his satisfaction and prestige.

The success of the Uzbek referee contrasted with the poor performance of the referees of the major European leagues. The Web worldreferee.com, specialized in arbitration, ranked him first in terms of valuation, while French Lannoy and Spanish Undiano Mallenco were at the bottom of the list at the time.

Irmatov, 32, already had previous World Cup experience. In 2007 he had participated in the Canadian U-20 championship where he had directed the Uruguay of Cavani and Martín Cáceres. The Charruas fell against the United States in the round of 16, a game that was decided in overtime