Yuichi Nishimura

Yuichi Nishimura (西村 雄一, Nishimura Yūichi, born 17 April 1972) is a Japanese football referee. He has refereed in the Japanese J. League Division 1 since 1999 and has been a full international referee for FIFA since 2004. He refereed the opening game in the 2014 FIFA World Cup between hosts Brazil and Croatia, and also the second leg of the 2014 AFC Champions League final.

Yuichi Nishimura
Yuichi Nishimura.jpg
Nishimura refereeing at Australia versus Oman in 2010
Full name Yuichi Nishimura
Born (1972-04-17) 17 April 1972 (age 48)
Tokyo, Japan
Years League Role
1999– J. League Division 1 Referee
Years League Role
2004–2014 FIFA listed Referee


Nishimura was the only Asian referee selected to officiate at the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana along with assistant referees Toru Sagara from Japan and Jeong Hae-Sang from South Korea.

Nishimura refereed the final of the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup between Inter Milan and TP Mazembe.[1]

On 13 November 2010, Nishimura was the referee for the final match of the 2010 AFC Champions League Final, Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma vs. Zob Ahan, at the National Stadium in Tokyo.[citation needed]

Nishimura officiated at the 2007 and 2011 Asian Cups.[citation needed]

At the 2012 Men's Olympic Football Tournament, Nishimura officiated the group stage matches between Brazil and Belarus[2] and host Great Britain and Uruguay.[3]

Nishimura was appointed to the second leg of the 2014 AFC Champions League Final in which Al-Hilal FC faced Western Sydney Wanderers FC. The match ended in a 0-0 upset, which saw the Western Sydney Wanderers crowned AFC champions courtesy of their 1-0 victory in the first leg. However, he gained heavy criticism over his mistakes. Which, some say, stripped Al Hilal from the cup.[4]

2010 FIFA World CupEdit

Nishimura was preselected as a referee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.[5] He was the referee for the Uruguay against France game at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, along with fourth official Joel Aguilar and assistant referees Jeong Hae-Sang, and Toru Sagara.[6] Nishimura produced the first red card of the tournament, when he sent Uruguay midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro off the field for two yellow cards. During the first quarter-final game between Brazil and the Netherlands at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Nishimura sent off Felipe Melo of Brazil in the 73rd minute of the game. He was the 4th official for the final match of the World Cup, Netherlands vs. Spain.

2014 AFC Champions LeagueEdit

He officiated the second leg of the 2014 AFC Champions League Final between Al Hilal FC and Western Sydney Wanderers FC, the match ended 0-0 but the Wanderers won the championship as they had scored a goal in the first leg in Parramatta. His officiating, that included not awarding Al Hilal any penalty kicks for potential fouls saw Al Hilal later raise a complaint to the AFC, and a club statement described the match lead by Yuichi Nishimura as a "a black spot in the history of Asian football". The complaint was essentially ignored by the AFC. [7]

2014 FIFA World CupEdit

Nishimura (right) at the opening match

Nishimura was chosen by FIFA to referee the opening game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup between Brazil and Croatia. With this, he became only the third Japanese referee to officiate at two FIFA World Cups, after Shizuo Takada and Toru Kamikawa.[8] In the match, Nishimura became the first referee to use vanishing spray at a World Cup finals, as well as to have access to goal-line technology.[9] The game ended with a 3–1 victory for hosts Brazil. Despite significant criticism, Nishimura was appointed to two other games in the tournament as the fourth official: the Group E match between Honduras and Ecuador (2–1 win for Ecuador), and the third place play-off match between Brazil and the Netherlands (3–0 win for the Netherlands).[10][11][12]


Nishimura was chosen as the J. League Referee of the Year in 2009 and 2010.[13] In 2012, he was named Best Men's Referee of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation.[14]


  1. ^ "TP Mazembe Englebert - F.C. Internazionale Milano". FIFA. 18 December 2010. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  2. ^ "Men's Olympic Football Tournament: Brazil 3:1 (1:1) Belarus - Summary - FIFA.com". FIFA.com. 29 July 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  3. ^ "Men's Olympic Football Tournament: Great Britain 1:0 (1:0) Uruguay". FIFA.com. 1 August 2012. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  4. ^ Cohen, Kate. "Western Sydney Wanderers win Asian Champions League title". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  5. ^ List of prospective 2010 FIFA World Cup referees
  6. ^ "Uruguay v France | Result | World Cup 2010 - Yahoo! Sports". Yahoo! Sports. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  7. ^ "Saudi club demands investigation into finals refs". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  8. ^ "Nishimura to referee the opening match of Brazil 2014". FIFA. 10 June 2014. Archived from the original on 11 June 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  9. ^ Ben Smith (12 June 2014). "Brazil 3 Croatia 1". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Nishimura named third-place match fourth official". Asian Football Confederation. 12 July 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Nishimura named 4th official for Honduras-Ecuador". USA Today. Associated Press. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  12. ^ Oryada, Andrew (11 July 2014). "Algerian referee to handle Brazil-Netherlands tie". USA Today. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  13. ^ "2010 J.LEAGUE AWARDS(6 Dec. 2010)". 6 December 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  14. ^ "AFC Referee of the Year (Men): Yuichi Nishimura". Asian Football Confederation. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2016.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
  Benito Archundia
FIFA Club World Cup
final match referee

Succeeded by
  Ravshan Irmatov
Preceded by
  Nawaf Shukralla
AFC Champions League
final match referee

Succeeded by
Most recent