Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

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

44 referees remain in frame for 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™

Meeting in Zurich on 25 October 2005, the FIFA Referees Committee, chaired by Ángel María Villar Llona (Spain), shortlisted 44 referees and 111 assistant referees for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ (9 June to 9 July).

The chosen referees and assistant referees are thus confirmed as candidates to officiate at the world's biggest single-sport event, for which around 30 referees, together with their assistants, will ultimately be appointed.

View the list of referees

The 44 referees on the shortlist will attend a workshop in Frankfurt between 22 and 25 March 2006, where they will complete a fitness test and undergo medical and psychological examinations. The candidates' knowledge of the Laws of the Game will also be assessed before they are interviewed by members of the FIFA Referees Committee. Only then will FIFA decide which candidates meet the stringent requirements to take charge of matches during the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ in Germany.

The breakdown of the 44 candidates according to confederation is as follows:

AFC: 6

CAF: 6

CONCACAF: 6

CONMEBOL: 7

OFC: 2

UEFA: 17

All of these referees will be, or in many cases already have been, in action at one of this year's FIFA competitions and subjected to a fitness test during that event. The Referees Committee was pleased to note that the officials had largely been found to be in very good shape. 48 referees and 92 assistant referees have been put through their paces during the three FIFA competitions so far this year – the FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands, the FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany and the FIFA U-17 World Championship in Peru. Three referees and nine assistant referees failed these fitness tests. The last group of prospective match officials for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ will take to the field during the final FIFA tournament of 2005 – the FIFA Club World Championship TOYOTA Cup in Japan in December.

The Referees Committee also discussed the issue of professional refereeing and decided to set up a working group to draw up appropriate proposals in this connection.

Further information from: FIFA Media Department – tel.: +41-43/222 7272, fax: +41-43/222 7373, E-mail : media@fifa.org FIFA COMMUNICATIONS DIVISION / Zurich, 25 October 2005 / 2005-0101-Ref Co-E.doc