July 13, 2018 05:07 PM NPT
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - Group F - Mexico vs Sweden - Ekaterinburg Arena, Yekaterinburg, Russia - June 27, 2018 Referee Nestor Pitana calls for a VAR review. Photo: REUTERS
MOSCOW, July 13: Experienced Argentine official Nestor Pitana will referee the World Cup final between France and Croatia at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday, an uncontroversial decision which rewards his authoritative performances in Russia.
The 43-year-old also took charge of the opening match of the tournament between hosts Russia and Saudi Arabia at the same stadium and becomes the second Argentine to referee the biggest game in football after Horacio Elizondo in 2006.
Pitana officiated at four matches at the last World Cup in Brazil and the final will be his fifth match at this tournament with his previous outings including the quarter-final between France and Uruguay.
He will be assisted on the touchlines by compatriots Hernan Maidana and Juan Pablo Belatti, while Italian Massimiliano Irrati will be the first Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to officiate at a World Cup final.