President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick has been confirmed as the match commissioner for the 2018 FIFA World Cup first semi final match between France and Belgium in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday. The match will begin at 7pm Nigeria time.
The potentially explosive clash at the 67,000 –capacity Zenit Arena will be the fifth match Pinnick would commission at the finals in Russia. He remains the only Nigerian involved at such high level of operation at the FIFA World Cup. That match will bring together some of the best artists of the round leather game in the universe at the present, including France’s Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, and Belgium’s Romelo Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard.
The NFF boss and Member of the Organizing Committee of FIFA Competitions took charge of the group phase matches between Iran and Portugal in Saransk on 25th June (1-1) and between Panama and Tunisia (1-2) also in Saransk on 28th June, as well as the Round of 16 encounter between Sweden and Switzerland in Saint Petersburg on 3rd July (1-0). He was also in charge of the quarter final duel between France and Uruguay at Nizhny Novgorod on 6th July (2-0).
The newly –appointed First Vice President of CAF will also commission the 2018 FIFA World Cup third place match in Saint Petersburg on Saturday this week.
France defeated Uruguay 2-0 in Nizhny Novgorod on Friday while Belgium edged Brazil 2-1 in Kazan.
The second semi final will take place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow (venue of the Final match) on Wednesday, between England’s Three Lions and Luka Modric –led Croatia.
A total of 152 goals have been scored in the 60 matches played so far at this year’s World Cup, with four of the knockout round matches (Spain Vs Russia in the Round of 16); Croatia Vs Denmark in the Round of 16); Colombia Vs England in the Round of 16) and; Russia Vs Croatia in Sunday’s last quarter final match, settled only after penalty shootouts.