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