Japan’s Yuichi Nishimura will be the man in charge for the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ when hosts Brazil tackle Croatia on Thursday at the Arena de Sao Paulo. FIFA has announced the match officials for the first four games. The 42-year old Nishimura made his international refereeing debut in 2004.
Since then he has been assigned to numerous other finals tournaments like the the 2007 Under-17 World Cup 2007 (including the final between Spain and Nigeria), the 2009 Under-20 World Cup, the 2010 Club World Cup (where he refereed TP Mazembe versus Internazionale in the deciding match), the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament and two editions of the Asian Cup in 2007 and 2011. In addition, the Japanese was selected for the finals of the 2008 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, where he handled three games including the quarter-final between Egypt and Angola. In club competitions, Nishimura was man-in-the-middle for the AFC Cup final between Al Faisaly and Shabab Al Ordun in 2007 and the AFC Champions League decider between Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and Zob Ahan in 2010.
Besides two Japanese cup finals and four Super Cup matches, Nishimura oversaw a number of Polish league fixtures in 2008. In 2012 Yuichi Nishimura was named AFC Men’s Referee of the Year. At South Africa 2010 he handled four matches, including the quarter-final encounter between the Netherlands and Brazil.