ENGLISH referee Mark Clattenburg will take charge of his first match at Euro 2016 when Belgium face Italy in Lyon on Monday.
The Premier League whistler, 41, has been confirmed as the man in the middle for a potentially explosive Group E encounter (KO 20:00 BST, live on BBC One).
He will be assisted by fellow countrymen Simon Beck, Jake Collin, Andre Marriner and Anthony Taylor – the same team of officials for last month’s Champions League Final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in Italy.
Spain’s Carlos del Cerro Grande will be the fourth official, while Juan Carlos Yuste Jiménez is the reserve assistant.
As well as an excellent performance in the European showpiece in Milan, Clattenburg also handled Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final at Wembley but was criticised by some for his display.
Like his fellow Englishman Martin Atkinson, the Newcastle-based official was an additional assistant at Euro 2012 and is now refereeing at a major international tournament for the first time.
Clattenburg is highly-rated by Uefa’s head of referees Pierluigi Collina which has been reflected in the number of high-profile appointments he has received in recent years.
He has taken charge of Champions League quarter-final and semi-final ties, a Europa League semi-final second leg, and the 2014 Uefa Super Cup between Real Madrid and Sevilla in Cardiff.
Among his other career highlights are the 2012 League Cup Final, 2012 Olympic Games men’s football final and the 2013 Community Shield.
The trained electrician brandished 164 yellow cards, sent off seven players and awarded eight penalties in 46 matches last season in all competitions.
Clattenburg oversaw Belgium’s 1-0 win in Israel during the qualification campaign, sending off captain Vincent Kompany for two bookable offences, but it’s the first time he will encounter Italy.
Italy coach Antonio Conte has reportedly described the appointment as “making fun of us” having previously clashed with Clattenburg during his time as Juventus boss.
He will be familiar to many of the players involved in the game from the Premier League, particularly in the Belgium ranks – which may have come into the thinking of the Uefa Referees Committee.
Serbian whistler Milorad Mazic will be the referee for the Republic of Ireland’s opening Euro 2016 game against Sweden on Monday.
The 43-year-old is the man in charge for the Group E match at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis (KO 17:00 BST, live on BBC One).
Mazic has been selected to officiate at his second major international tournament but was voted the worst referee at the 2014 World Cup in a poll of over 85,000 responses.
Mazic has also been the centre of controversy on numerous other occasions – chalking off a legitimate Celtic goal in their Champions League play-off defeat by Malmo last season.
He was described as “very bad” by Atletico Madrid’s Mario Suarez in their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid in 2015, with the midfielder questioning whether a Serbian should have been appointed to such a high-profile game.
The Yugoslavia-born official has been a regular in the Serbian SuperLiga since 2009, the same year he joined the Fifa list.
Mazic has handled two Europa League semi-final ties and a Champions League quarter-final first leg between PSG and Chelsea in the French capital Paris.
He took charge of three European matches involving English sides last season – Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat against Wolfsburg and PSG’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City in the Champions League group stages.
The Vrbas-based referee was also in the middle for United’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool in the Europa League quarter-final second leg, in which he performed indifferently at Old Trafford.
He will be assisted by linesmen Milovan Ristić and Dalibor Djurdjević, and additional assistants Danilo Grujić and Danilo Grujić, all of Serbia.
Slovenia’s Matej Jug will be the fourth official, with fellow countryman Jure Praprotnik the reserve assistant.
Polish referee Szymon Marciniak will be in charge of holders Spain’s Euro 2016 opener against Czech Republic.
It will be a major tournament debut for the 35-year-old, who will oversee the Group D clash at the Stadium Municipal in Toulouse (KO 14:00 BST, live on ITV).
Marciniak transformed from a young midfielder at Polish top-flight club Wisla Plock to first take up the whistle in 2002.
He had a taste of a European final when taking control of the Under-21 European Championship showpiece between Sweden and Portugal last summer.
The Plock-born businessman, who can also speak English, made his Champions League debut in 2014-15 and last season handled six games in the competition, including two in the knockout stages.
Marciniak – who received his Fifa badge in 2011 – also put in an excellent performance in the 2-2 draw between Shakhtar Donetsk and Sevilla in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final in April.
He is a popular figure in his home country and has impressed hugely in recent times – a far cry from a shocking display in Wigan’s Europa League game with Maribor in 2013 which left Uwe Rosler ‘gobsmacked’.
Paweł Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz are the assistant referees, Paweł Raczkowski and Tomasz Musiał are the additional assistants, Aleksei Kulbakov is the fourth official and Vitali Maliutsin is the reserve official.