Irmatov to referee World Cup opener

JOHANNESBURG - Uzbekistan's Ravshan Irmatov will referee the opening World Cup match between hosts South Africa and Mexico at Soccer City in Johannesburg on Friday, organisers FIFA said on Saturday.

Irmatov, who began his international career seven years ago, was in charge of the 2008 Club World Cup final between Manchester United and Liga de Quito.

Rafael Ilyasov of Uzbekistan and Bahadyr Kochkorov of Kyrgyzstan will be the assistant referees in Friday's game.

England's opening match against USA the following day will be officiated by Carlos Simon from Brazil, who took charge of England's first game at the 2002 World Cup.

Premier League referee Howard Webb - who took charge of the Champions League final last month - has been handed the task of refereeing European champions Spain's opening clash against Switzerland.

Friday June 11

1. South Africa v Mexico, Group A

Referee: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan), assistants: Rafael Ilyasov (Uzbekistan) and Bakhadyr Kochkarov (Kyrgyzstan), fourth official Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (Malaysia)

2. Uruguay v France, Group A

Referee: Yuichi Nishimura (Japan), assistants: Toru Sagara (Japan) and Jeong Hae-sang (South Korea), fourth official: Joel Aguilar: (Slovenia)

Saturday June 12

3. Argentina v Nigeria, Group B

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany), assistants: Jan-Hendrik Salver (Germany) and Mike Pickel (Germany), fourth official: Khalil Al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabia)

4. South Korea v Greece, Group B

Referee: Michael Hester (New Zealand), assistants: Jan Hendrik Hintz (New Zealand) and Tevita Makasini (Tonga), fourth official: Martin Vazquez: (Uruguay)

5. England v United States, Group C

Referee: Carlos Simon (Brazil), assistants: Altemir Hausmann (Brazil) and Roberto Braatz (Brazil), fourth official: Eddy Maillet (Seychelles)

Sunday June 13

6. Algeria v Slovenia, Group C

Referee: Carlos Alberto Batres (Guatemala), assistants: Leonel Leal (Costa Rica) and Carlos Pastrana (Honduras), fourth official: Peter O'Leary (New Zealand)

7. Germany v Australia, Group D

Referee: Marco Rodriguez (Mexico), assistants: Jose Luis Camargo (Mexico) and Alberto Morin (Mexico), fourth official: Martin Hansson (Sweden)

8. Serbia v Ghana, Group D

Referee: Hector Baldassi (Argentina), assistants: Ricardo Casas (Argentina) and Hernan Maidana (Argentina), fourth official: Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (Malaysia)

Monday June 14

9. Netherlands v Denmark, Group E

Referee: Stephane Lannoy (France), assistants: Eric Dansault (France) and Laurent Ugo (France), fourth official: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)

10. Japan v Cameroon, Group E

Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal), assi