The referee of the first FIFA World Youth Tournament in will also be at the Final of this year’s Championship in the Shah Alam Stadium.
Frenchman Michel Vautrot was in charge of the first Final in Tunisia in 1977 between the USSR and Mexico.
After a subsequent distinguished refereeing career, culminating in the 1990 World Cup, Vautrot became a member of the FIFA Referees’ Committee, and it is in this capacity that he has been attending the matches in Malaysia.
"I remember being surprised to be picked to referee the Tunis Final, as I was only 32 at the time – but I must say I’m even more surprised to be here, 20 years later, helping to select the referee for this year’s Final," said Vautrot.
"Here, the refereeing has been excellent. There’s really been hardly a problem at all. I can honestly say that this is the first time that I’ve been at a major tournament and we’ve been able to spend more time talking about the actual football than about the refereeing!
"That is due not only to the changes that FIFA has gradually brought in since 1990, but the shift in mentality among all concerned -- referees, officials, players, coaches – for a more positive and sporting approach to the game."