The Head of FIFA Refereeing Department, Massimo Busacca, which met last week in a seminar in Switzerland the 52 referees short-listed for the 2014 World Cup, said that FIFA does not want in Brazil “robots or machines”, but referees who know how to read the game. “In the selection process, the first criterion is the quality and personality. Their technical ability and understanding of the game is as important as their fitness level," said Busacca in a statement released by FIFA. The Swiss ex-referee added that the current refereeing is no "walk in the countryside with the whistle" and that the referee must know how to read the game. "The first ten minutes they tell you how the game is and whether the teams want to play or not? We have to understand the players. Soccer today moves too fast, so the referee has to be brave and make a decision. What we have tried to instill this week, and during the next two years, is the uniformity and consistency", he said.
Busacca has also insisted that FIFA wants the best referees in Brazil which come from all over the world. "In South Africa, media questioned the selection of a referee from Uzbekistan (Ravshan Irmatov) for the opening match and he ultimately refereed 4 or 5 games. No one should expect a lower performance because the referee comes from a small country; that is disrespect", said Busacca.
Meanwhile, the FIFA Medical Center and Research has revealed that, during a match, a referee runs on average seven miles and takes between 150 and 180 decisions. “In the 2006 World Cup, said Bizzini, the average age of the referees was 42 years, while in South Africa 2010 was 39 and the FIFA’s aim is that in Brazil 2014 it will be 37.”
Source: ABC Spain