Argentina’s Nestor Pitana has been assigned as the referee for the Opening Match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia on Thursday, June 12 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. He will be assisted by compatriots Juan Pablo Bellati and Hernan Maidana, with Sandro Ricci from Brazil designated as the fourth official.
The Video Assistant Referee team is composed by Massimiliano Irrati of Italy (VAR); Mauro Vigliano of Argentina (AVR 1); Carlos Astroza of Chile (AVR2) and Daniele Orsato, Italy (AVR3).
Nestor Pitana is set to become the second Argentinian referee to participate in two FIFA World Cups after Norberto Coerezza, who oversaw two games in 1970 and one in 1978. Pitana is one of South America’s most experienced referees. He made his debut in the Argentinian league in 2007 and officiated his first international match in 2010. At the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, he oversaw four fixtures including France-Germany in the quarterfinals.