Wednesday, October 26, 2005

44 refs on a short list

The FIFA Referees Committee met yesterday and narrowed the pool of referees for the World Cup down to 44. The names of these 44 will be posted at soon. This list will be cut down to about 30 referees for the Cup after a March 22-25, 2006, workshop in Frankfurt.

The breakdown of refs by confederation is as follows:
AFC: 6
CAF: 6
OFC: 2
UEFA: 17

All of the refs either have been or will be involved in one of this year's FIFA competitions.

In addition to the selection news, FIFA is now looking at introducing professional referees. FIFA president Sepp Blatter has repeatedly called for referees to be paid salaries, saying the move would help stamp out corruption. The Referees Committee is drawing up "appropriate proposals".

I'm sure that the ref scandals in both Germany and Brazil have helped push this idea along.


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