Massimo Busacca (Switzerland, rated #1, born 1969)
Roberto Rosetti (Italy, rated #2, born 1967)
Howard Webb (England, rated #3, born 1971)
Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay, rated #4, born 1968)
Frank de Bleeckere (Belgium, rated #5, born 1966)
Wolfgang Stark (Germany, rated # 9, born 1969)
Hector Baldassi (Argentina, rated #10, born 1966)
Carlos Amarilla (Paraguay, rated # 12, born 1970)

Note: Amarilla will not officiate in the 2010 World Cup due to one of his assistant’s failing his fitness test – see here.

Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain, rated # 13, born 1973)
Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan, rated #15, born 1977)
Oscar Ruiz Acosta (Colombia, rated # 16, born 1969)
Benito Archundia (Mexico, rated #18, born 1966)
Martin Hansson (Sweden, rated #19, born 1971)
Eddy Maillet (Seychelles, rated #24, born 1967)
Marco Rodriquez Moreno (Mexico, rated # 25, born 1973)
Jerome Kelvin Damon (South Africa, born 1972)
Yuichi Nashimura (Japan, born 1972)
Joel Aquilar Chicas (El Salvador, born 1975)
Michael Hester (New Zealand, born 1972)
Peter O'Leary (New Zealand, born 1972)
Viktor Kassai (Hungary, born 1975)
Pablo Pozo (Chile, born 1973)
Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal, born 1969)
Stephane Laurent Lannoy (France, born 1969)
Carlos Eugenio Simon (Brazil, born 1965)
Carlos Batres (Guatemala, born 1968)
Koman Coulibaly (Mali, born 1970)
Mohamed Benouza (Algeria, born 1972)

Note: Benouza will not officiate in the 2010 World Cup due to one of his assistant’s failing his fitness test – see here

Kahlil Al Ghamdi (Saudia Arabia, born 1970)
Subkhidden Mohd Salleh (Malaysia, born 1966)

EDIT: 27 May 2010 — Martín Vázquez from Uruguay has been announced as replacement for  Amarilla’s Paraguayan team. Fifa will not call in a replacement for the Benouza (Algerian) trio of referees.

Referee Martin Vazquez (with assistants Carlos Pastorino & Miguel Nievas, all from Uruguay) was called in by Fifa to replace the referee trios headed by Amarilla & Benouza.

The above 2010 FIFA World Cup middle referee  list is provisional. Provisional in the sense that they all must pass their final hurdle, a fitness test. The World Cup African contingent of trios/referees will be evaluated at my hometown Coetzenburg Athletics Track, Stellenbosch, on 8th May under the auspices of South African FIFA co-ordinator Carlos Henriques.

For a list of all the World Cup assistant referees, see here.

We are not gods.  We make mistakes. — Swiss referee Massimo Busacca to Greek player Basinas (Greece vs Sweden, Euro 2008) – see the critically acclaimed film, Les Arbitres.

Coetzenburg Track, Stellenbosch, South Africa

The FIFA World Cup is the biggest test an international referee will ever face, both professionally and personally. Of the 29 referees representing 26 nations (Uruguay, New Zealand & Mexico have 2 middle referees each) taking charge of the 64 World Cup games in the month-long tourney in South Africa, 10 are from Europe, 6 from South America, 4 from Asia, 4 from the CONCACAF region, 3 from Africa and 2 from New Zealand. Each referee has his team of two assistants who have worked with him over many months in various FIFA international and Association tournaments, their performance and fitness constantly being monitor by the FIFA Referee Committee.

During the tournament, the referees and assistants will be swathed in a protective blanket of security, locked away from the world’s prying eyes at a luxury hotel where they will be provided with a continuous healthy diet, sports psychologists to boost their confidence and video technological tools for briefing/debriefing to allow them to study the strengths, weaknesses and favourite ploys of the teams they will be officiating.

It has been a 3-year+ journey for all the pre-selected World Cup referees and after many reductions on the final referee list, countless fitness evaluations, workshops, aptitude tests and constant health & diet monitoring , these are the men that FIFA trust to control the greatest sporting event on the planet.

I wish all the above FIFA referees, assistants (and their families) the very best and may your dreams be fulfilled!

Have a great Whistle & Flag!

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