At the 1990 World Cup in Italy, 38-year-old Petrović was the main referee for the England vs. Netherlands group stage match in Cagliari and also the Sweden vs. Costa Rica group stage match in Genoa. At the same tournament he performed the linesman duties at two more matches, assisting Jamal Al Sharif for the Austria vs United States group stage clash as well as assisting George Courtney for the Italy vs. Uruguay round of 16 contest.
After being referee on two World Cups, Zoran Petrović signed a professional contract with Japanese Football Association and had been a referee in Japan's J. League from 1994 until 1997. He had won two BEST REFEREE AWARDS in 1994 and 1996. His mission in Japan was to pass his experience and knowledge to new Japanese referees.