Top Referees Train for the Dream of Performing in the FIFA World Cups

FIFA Elite Referees Seminar (Photo: Hector O. Torres)

Referees possess as much passion for the game as fans and players 

MIAMI – With aspirations of officiating at a future World Cup, elite referees from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL convened in South Florida last week to participate in an elite FIFA seminar. 

From April 25-29, more than 30 male and female referees were accorded special theoretical and practical training.  Classroom sessions focused on topics such as reading the game and positioning, video analysis, plus tackling and penalty area incidents.  On the field, participants were put through the paces of game simulation, obtaining immediate feedback on their performances.

Some of the referees in attendance will be considered for assignments at the Copa America Centenario USA 2016, which is scheduled to be held from June 3-26.

Here are key insights from a week of intense training, discipline and hard work:

Massimo Busacca, FIFA’s Head of Refereeing
“All participating referees are working hard through on and off the pitch trainings leading up to the next FIFA World Cups. We have an abundance of quality referees and it’s important that every confederation and member association continue working in order to raise the professional level of the referees.” 

Busacca officiated at two FIFA World Cups™ (2006 and 2010) and EURO 2008.  He also officiated the UEFA Champions League final in 2009, the UEFA Cup final in 2007 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2010. 

Jean-Paul Brigger, Head of FIFA’s Technical Division
“I have been able to see how hard referees are working around the globe to achieve the goals in preparation to the FIFA World Cups. Referees must be capable of reading the game, while anticipating situations.”

Brigger is a former Swiss international (33 caps, 3 goals), Swiss domestic league champion with FC Sion and the country's Player of the Year in 1992. He is also a five-time winner of the Swiss Cup and was named Swiss coach of the year in 1995.

Brian Hall, CONCACAF’s Director of Refereeing   
“This is a great opportunity to work alongside FIFA to ensure that both male and female referees from CONCACAF and CONMEBOL start their journey to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.  This is the first event that both women and men are working together, hand in hand, while preparing mentally, physically and technically to be the best possible referee they can be.”

Carol Anne Chenard (Canada)
“It’s important to get consistency, to learn new game interpretations and to have both men and women working together as we move towards the FIFA World Cups. Being a referee is a great opportunity to be in the middle of the field with the best players in the world, however, it takes a lot of time and training on and off the field.” 

Chenard officiated at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™. She recently served at the 2016 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship.

Ricardo Montero (Costa Rica)
“We have a good refereeing level within the CONCACAF region.  At the FIFA seminars, we are able to reinforce the concepts and skills acquired at previous trainings provided by the Confederation.  I’m 100% dedicated to refereeing and my goal is to officiate in Russia 2018.  In order to succeed as a referee you need to be professional and consistent.”   

Montero has refereed at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015™, in addition to several CONCACAF competitions including the 2015 Gold Cup.  He has participated in several educational programs provided by the Confederation that have allowed him to grow and strengthen his performance on the field.