Massimo Busacca, the Head of the FIFA Refereeing Department, took recently part in the CONMEBOL Elite Referees Course held in Paraguay, which was attended by over 34 officials spanning every member association from the South American Zone.
The referees in attendance were aware that their performances over the coming months will prove decisive in terms of the selection process for those officials vying to take part at Brazil 2014. This point was explained in detail on the course, with the highly demanding selection process set to take into account factors including optimum levels of health and fitness, fluent English, a high standard of performance in technical and physical terms and the correct application and interpretation of the Laws of the Game. "Both the tests themselves and the assessment process are demanding, because the standard of the modern game requires them to be,” said Busacca. “Our job is to supply the right toolkit in technical, physical and structural terms to ensure referees, as well as their football associations, have professional habits in the way they approach their diet, physical conditioning, training, personal development and in-depth knowledge of the Rules of the Game”. By way of a conclusion, Busacca urged the referees present to live and breathe the game and to throw themselves into the demands of being professionally prepared, thus doing full justice to the honour that is officiating a top-level football match.