Ravshan Irmatov to officiate opening match of 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
With an international career dating back to 2003, Ravshan Irmatov is the only Uzbek referee to have officiated in the finals of a FIFA tournament to date. He is currently rated as AFC Referee of the Year and he received this award for the two prior years, 2009 and 2008.
He has appeared three times at the FIFA U-17 World Cup (2003, 2007 and 2009), once at the FIFA U-20 World Cup and also at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2008, where he not only handled the quarter-final meeting of Al Ahly and Pachuca, but also took charge of the Liga de Quito-Manchester United Final.
His record in the top Asian tournaments includes a debut in the AFC Champions League in 2003 and in 2007 he officiated the Final of this tournament held in Japan, one of his biggest achievements to date. He was also selected for the AFC Asian Cup in 2004 and directed eight Asian preliminary matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.