Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

Fitness test whittles down list of referees

Thirteen of the 48 referees and assistant referees selected for the FIFA World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005 - all of whom feature on the list of candidates for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ - have been ordered to return home from the event before it has even kicked off.

The decision was taken following a fitness test to evaluate speed and endurance on Tuesday. While the overall results were better than those recorded during a workshop for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ candidates in Frankfurt in February, the test proved too stringent for five of the match officials taking part.

As previously announced (cf. media release no.2, dated 3 June), the FIFA Referees' Committee selected trios of match officials who come from the same country or share the same language. In one of the steps FIFA has taken to significantly improve refereeing standards, instructions issued to the referees prior to the competition made it clear that entire trios would be forced out of the competition if any one of the three failed the fitness test.

The following trios will therefore not officiate at the FIFA World Youth Championship Netherlands 2005:

  • Referee Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (Malaysia) and Assistant Referees Mohamad Rodzali Yacob (Malaysia)/Mohamed Saeed (Maldives)

  • Referee Modou Sowe (Gambia) and Assistant Referees Dramane Dante (Mali)/Mamadou Ndoye (Senegal)

  • Referee Marco Antonio Rodriguez Moreno (Mexico) and Assistant Referees Hector Delgadillo (Mexico)/Leonel Leal (Costa Rica)

  • Referee Eric Poulat (France) and Assistant Referees Nelly Viennot (France)/Lionel Dagorne(France)

Referee Kyros Vassaras, who was due to serve as a fourth official in the Netherlands, will not take part in the competition due to injury.

Replacements for the above match officials, selected from the same confederations, will be confirmed in due course.

This development affects the referees' candidatures for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ as follows:

  • Having fallen short of requirements in Frankfurt in February, this is the second time that referee Modou Sowe (Gambia) has failed the test and he is therefore dropped from the list of candidates to officiate in next year's tournament.

  • The other trios remain on the shortlist for the time being, but the assistant referees who failed yesterday's fitness test will have to be replaced. These trios will be given a second and final chance at the FIFA U-17 World Championship Peru 2005.