Nigerian’s first World Cup match on Saturday will be officiated by a Brazilian referee, Sandro Meira Ricci who was appointed by FIFA as the centre referee for Nigeria’s 2018 World Cup opener against Croatia.
The Brazilian referee will be assisted by his compatriots Emerson De Carvalho and Marcelo van Gasse, who will be first and second assistant referees respectively.
Nigeria vs Croatia match will be played at Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad Russia.
According to reports reaching LailasNews.Com, Sandro Meira Ricci will be officiating in his second FIFA WorldCup tournament in Russia.
Ricci is famous for being the first ever referee to validate a goal by the means of goal-line technology, in his debut match as centre referee in the 2014 WorldCup.
The goal came during France’s game against Honduras in Porto Alegre.
Sandro Meira Ricci (born 19 November 1974) is a Brazilian football referee. He refereed at 2014 FIFA WorldCup qualifiers, beginning with the match between Ecuador and Paraguay on 26 March 2013.
In March 2013, FIFA added Ricci to its list of candidate referees for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Ricci was the Brazilian referee at the 2014 FIFA WorldCup, along with assistant referees Emerson de Carvalho and Marcelo Van Gasse. During his debut match France-Honduras, which was played on 15 June 2014,
According to Nigeria sports correspondent in Russia Samm Adu;
The Super Eagles are the youngest team at this tournament, and have 18 players who could be taking part in a FIFA World Cup match for the first time. Only skipper John Obi Mikel, Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Ogenyi Onazi and Kenneth Omeruo have previously played in the World Cup.
But one of the debutants, William Troost-Ekong, is relishing the chance for them to prove themselves on the world stage.
“Many of us will be playing at the World Cup for the first time, but this may work in our favour, as we may be underrated and so might surprise some teams. We will play without fear,” he commented.