At its meeting yesterday evening, the FIFA Referees’ Committee took the following decisions:

  • The appointments of match officials for the first 34 World Cup matches. The Spanish referee José-Manuel Garcia Aranda will officiate at the opening match on June 10 at the Stade de France.
  • All 67 referees and assistant referees have arrived at their base at the Domaine de Gressy and will undergo the Cooper Test on Sunday, June 7.
  • FIFA is going to provide official support for the foundation of a school for referees in Guatemala.
  • The Committee further reiterated that according to Law XII, only those tackles that endanger the safety of an opponent will be sanctioned by a red card.

Referees assignments: Facts & Figures

  1. José Manuel Garcia Aranda is the first Spanish referee appointed foran opening match in World Cup history. The Brazil-Scotland match will be his debut inthe finals, although he has already refereed four matches during the 1998 preliminary competition (Scotland-Sweden, Italy-Poland, Northern Ireland-Germany, and El Salvador-Jamaica).
  2. Of the 34 referees selected for France '98, five took part in the last World Cup in 1994: Arturo P. Brizio Carter (MEX), Ali Mohamed Bujsaim (UAE), An Yan Lim Kee Chong (MUS), Alberto Tejada Noriega (PER) and Mario Van der Ende (HOL).
  3. Of the first 34 World Cup match five will be intra-European affairs (HOL-BEL, SCO-NOR, GER-YUG, ROM-ENG and ITA-AUT). Each of these will be officiated by a European referee.
  4. Both Pirom Un-Prasert (THA) and Marcio Rezende de Freitas (BRA) refereed a record 8 matches each in the 1998 preliminary competition. The 34 referees selected for the final competion directed 129 out of the 643 France '98 preliminary matches.
  5. Of the referees from previous World Cup openers were Europeans, with two South Americans and the Mexican Brizio Carter completing the picture. Only Switzerland (1934/1974) and England (1950 /1962) have had two referees selected for the openingmatch.
  6. Arturo Brizio Carter holds the overall record for the total number of matches (final competition). Of the other 33 referees none have more matches to their credit. This will be the second World Cup running for Brizio Carter and Ali Bujsaim (who totals 12 matches). Both of them were among the referees selected for some of the ITALIA 90 qualifiers.