AFC and OFC refereeing teams shortlisted for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ began a training seminar organised by FIFA in Dubai on Monday which will continue until Thursday.

A total of 27 participants from 13 different countries, divided into nine different trios are currently being put through their paces. Seven come from AFC and two from OFC.

Referees such as Ravshan Irmatov, Yuichi Nishimura, Ben Williams and Peter O’Leary are in attendance, while Ali Hamad flies the flag for UAE, the hosts of the workshop.

The opening of the seminar was in the presence of FIFA’s Head of Refereeing Massimo Busacca who is supervising proceedings with Yoshimi Ogawa, Director of the AFC Referees Department and Ahmed Yacoob, Director of the UAE FA Referees Department.

The seminar started with fitness training at Dubai Police Club stadium while on Tuesday, fitness tests for the referees and assistant referees will be conducted. The programme will also include educational lectures and applied training with the participation of football players.

Busacca opened the seminar and welcomed the participating referees while he also thanked UAE FA for its support before adding: “Just 15 months before the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, we are looking for good preparations. We are working and preparing exactly like football teams. We are currently going through qualifiers and we don’t know who will be in the final line-up for the World Cup.”

The former international referee gave an explanation for the programme which also includes modules on protecting players and the image of the game and fair play, ensuring consistency and uniformity with regards to decision making, reading the game’s technical and tactical approach and understanding the different mentalities of football.