FIFA Seminar for pre-selected referees: 437 days to World Cup 2018

The FIFA Seminar for pre-selected referees for the 2018 World Cup started at Coverciano, in Italy. In the morning, all the referees gathered in the auditorium of the Italian Technical Center, where Pierluigi Collina, in his capacity as Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee, inaugurated the sessions: "I would like to thank FIGC for accepting our 62 referees, including 9 VARs, and 9 instructors from five continents, and supporting FIFA in organizing this event". Collina then addressed the referees present in the Aula Magna of Coverciano: "You must feel proud to be here, even if this is not enough: now is the time to work hard to achieve the goal. Today, the 437 days to the World Cup may seem like a lot, but they are not if the goal is to get ready to rise to the highest football competition".
At Coverciano, during this week, the referees will be subjected to medical evaluations, tests on body composition (fat mass, lean mass, state of hydration), in order to verify their current form. Massimo Busacca, FIFA Head of Refereeing, after having stressed that "the new members of recently named Committee are former top referees", spoke about the VAR: "Before deciding whether the technological tool will be used in the big World Cup, it will be tested live in FIFA competitions scheduled this year: the U-20 World Cup, the Confederations Cup and the Club World Cup. We must work hard to become familiar with the technology and to be ready; a challenge that top referees must know how to win".

Functional in this direction has been the intervention of David Elleray, IFAB Technical Director, responsible for the VAR project, which recalled the key points of the Protocol and reminded the referees as "VAR is a friendly tool if used properly, such as last week in Paris, during the friendly match between France and Spain at the end of this challenge, in fact, there was no talk of refereeing mistakes corrected by the VAR, but the positive impact of the latter".
In the afternoon, practice session were conducted on the field, with game situations simulated with the help of players Under 16 and Under 17 of Fiorentina, which are made available to FIFA.

Source: FIGC