Two of the ten referees selected to officiate at the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 have been requested to return home from the event before it has kicked off. This decision was taken following a fitness test in Johannesburg on 4 June to evaluate speed and endurance. While the overall results were impressive, two of the ten participating referees - all of whom feature in the list of candidates for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ - suffered injuries which prevented them from completing the tests.
The two referees who were unable to complete the tests due to injury were Carlos Batres (Guatemala), who suffered a strain of the calf muscle in his right leg, and Carlos Amarilla (Paraguay), who suffered a tear of the hamstring muscle in his right leg.
It is one of FIFA's main objectives to significantly improve refereeing standards and, to this end, the FIFA Referees Committee had selected trios of match officials who come from the same country or confederation and who share the same language. Instructions issued to the referees prior to the competition made it clear that entire trios would be forced out of the competition if any of their members were unable to complete or pass the fitness test.
The following trios will therefore not officiate at the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009:
- Referee: Carlos Batres (Guatemala) + assistant referees: Leonel Leal (Costa Rica)/Carlos Pastrana (Honduras)
- Referee: Carlos Amarilla (Paraguay) + assistant referees: Emigdio Ruiz (Paraguay)/Nicolás Yegros (Paraguay)
Replacements for these match officials will be selected from the same confederation and also from the list of candidates for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and will be confirmed in due course.