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Néstor Pitana will be the referee of the opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia corresponding to Group A of the 2018 World Cup. He will be accompanied by assistants Hernán Maidana and Juan Pablo Bellati, while Mauro Vigliano will be one of the video assistants in the handling of the VAR.

The match will be played at the Luzhniki Stadium next Thursday at 12-o'clock Argentina time and the announcement was made by Pierluigi Collina, president of the FIFA Referees Committee at a press conference where details about the criteria were given that the referees will adopt on the different situations of the game.


To Pitana, then, it will be his turn to be the first interpreter of what one intuits will be severe arbitrations because of the little tolerance that there will be to frictions during the development of the game. Collina said that referees are expected to "protect football, the image of the sport, their health and the players themselves in the field"


In a morning training at the Lokomotiv stadium, Néstor Pitana was in charge of directing simulated games with children soccer players that served to apply the different situations that may be under the VAR's orbit. With Pitana in the center of that scene, it was confirmed that the opening match of Russia 2018 was going to be left to his charge. The Brazilian Sandro Ricci will be the fourth referee.

As Ángel Coerezza in 1978 and Horacio Elizondo in 2006, an Argentine will be the referee of the inaugural match of the 2018 World Cup. In this way, the first duel of the World Cup will have a strong presence in Argentina, by his assistants and Vigliano.

And as many speak of a fifth Beatle, there will also be a fifth Argentine in the Olympic Stadium in Moscow, although it will have nothing to do with the triple list: it is Juan Antonio Pizzi, coach of Saudi Arabia.

The official clock of the referees and their multiple functions


The technological explosion that FIFA puts on the table in Russia 2018, with the VAR with all the reflectors on top, once again involves the referees with the clock they will use during the matches. One of the sponsors of the World Cups since South Africa 2010, he presented his first production of a connected, non-mechanical watch, which will assist the referee with some information about the incidents of the match. Its main use will be in the warning, by means of a vibration, when the ball crosses the line of the bow. Immediately write the word "Aim" on the screen to confirm the data. All the action will occur in four tenths of seconds.

The connected clock, which will go on sale to the public with a limited edition, will use the same set of cameras and sensors that will be used in the stadiums, but its own alert system will not have any link with the VAR. The referees will receive on the screen the information of the changes of players ,, who received they have cards, will divide the time every 15 minutes in their pleasant part and with a double touch on the surface, the referee will initiate the additional minutes that are added to each time .

The watch will have a battery autonomy contaminated to other smart watches, but being a technical element that quality was not sought after. It will be a device whose screen will be in operation all the time (it will not enter in rest or pause mode) and if a goal is registered every five minutes, the watch has a range of seven hours.



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