PRO (Professional Referee Organization) referee Jair Marrufo has been appointed to oversee Saturday’s World Cup group-stage match between Belgium and Tunisia, his first on-field assignment of Russia 2018.
It marks the first such experience for the El Paso, Texas native, who has to date worked only VAR (Video Assistant Referee) postings in this, his first World Cup.
Referee designations FWC 2018 Match 27:#BEL?#TUN (23 June):— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 21, 2018
Referee: Jair MARRUFO (USA)
ASR 1: Corey ROCKWELL (USA)
ASR 2: Juan ZUMBA (SLV)
4th Off. Andres CUNHA (URU)
Res.Ass Nicolas TARAN (URU)@FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/KkbmibLIx1
The 2008 MLS Referee of the Year, Marrufo will be joined by another MLS-based official, assistant referee Corey Rockwell, as well as their Concacaf colleague Juan Zumba of El Salvador.
Two Uruguayans round out the officiating crew for the Group G clash at Spartak Stadium in Moscow, which holds major implications for both teams. A Belgium victory would clinch advancement for the Red Devils, who defeated Panama 3-0 in their opening match, while likely spelling doom for Tunisia, who suffered a 2-1 loss to England keyed by Harry Kane’s last-gasp winner.