The FIFA Referees Committee, meeting in Zurich today (5 February 2010) under the chairmanship of Ángel María Villar Llona (Spain) has appointed 30 referees representing 28 different countries for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. 

FIFA has implemented a comprehensive programme to ensure that the referees for its flagship competition are in peak condition come 11 June.

The road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as it did for the 32 participating teams, began for an initial group of 54 trios of referees from all over the world in 2007 when the FIFA Executive Committee took the important decision of creating a Refereeing Assistance Programme (RAP). One of the key objectives was to prepare this group of prospective referees for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

As in previous years, the FIFA Refereeing Department - headed by Spanish former international referee José Maria García-Aranda who refereed at both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2000 UEFA European Championship - was responsible for coordinating and organising all of the activities involving the candidate referees.

The RAP working group, a team of international experts in the fields of refereeing technique, fitness and psychology was set up by FIFA to monitor and analyse all of the information on the candidate referees, involving those responsible for refereeing in each confederation. The FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC) were another key group in this process.

The latest technology has been implemented in the preparation of the referees both within practical training, and interactive sessions, whilst performances at respective FIFA competitions were also analysed and evaluated.

Theoretical tests undertaken exclusively in English - which has been the lingua franca for FIFA’s referees for many years – to ensure appropriate knowledge of the Laws of the Game, the regulations for FIFA competitions and the directives of the International Football Association Board (IFAB) were also a regular feature during the last three years.

The group of 30 trios of referees selected will participate in a training seminar next month.

In May, a final assessment will be conducted and a decision made regarding the acting and support referees prior to the first match appointments being made for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.