At the opening of the first workshop for the 46 candidate referees for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ on 12 February in Frankfurt, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter made it clear just how much is expected of match officials. “Referees are the authority on the pitch, and not just in terms of applying the Laws of the Game and taking charge of the match. They also have to show impeccable morals and leadership qualities.”

From 12 to 16 February 2005, FIFA and its Referees’ Committee (chaired by Angel Maria Villar Llona of Spain) are preparing the 46 candidate referees for the challenge that lies ahead. This first workshop, some 16 months before the final competition, is the first of its kind. In each module, the referees will focus on a specific area of football’s laws and regulations, and they will also be subjected to a thorough medical check-up to gauge their physical fitness. In addition, a series of training sessions and fitness tests will allow the match officials to demonstrate their ability.

The candidates will also participate as match officials in various FIFA competitions throughout 2005 and will be observed and assessed on their performances at international and domestic level. The final list of FIFA World Cup™ referees will be announced in the first quarter of 2006. A second workshop for the selected match officials will be held in spring 2006.

“The referees will have a key role to play in ensuring that the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ is a success. This workshop represents the first step in a 16-month period of preparation, in which we will leave nothing to chance,” explained Blatter. “This workshop is also part of FIFA’s attempts to professionalise refereeing across the board.”

The workshop was launched with two special presentations. First of all, the match officials listened to an explanation of various legal and contractual issues related to their duties, before a psychologist advised them on how to deal with the pressures and stress that go hand in hand with such a competition.

A media conference will be held at the venue of the workshop, Hotel Kempinski Gravenbuch Frankfurt, Frankfurt / Neu-Isenburg (Graf zu Ysenburg und Büdingen Platz 1), on Wednesday, 16 February (11.00h) to announce the initial results of the Referees’ Project for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™.  No other media activities are planned during the workshop.

 

Enquiries to be addressed to:

FIFA Media Department – Tel.: +41-43/222 7272, Fax: +41-43/222 7373 – E-Mail: media@fifa.org

FIFA COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION/Zurich, 12 February 2005/2005-19-FWCReferees-Frankfurt-E