I was recently sent details of a new referee fitness test which could be introduced by FIFA for referees selected to officiate in the 2018 World Cup and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
It remains a test project at this stage but it is in my opinion a very positive step, reflecting the dynamic movement required by match officials in the modern game.
Our team of experts at You Are The Ref have highlighted shortfalls in the performance of our current crop of top referees operating in the Premier League and Football League. We have particularly emphasised the need for some of them to improve their dynamic sprinting during games.
Referees Mark Clattenburg, Michael Oliver, Anthony Taylor and Martin Atkinson set the benchmark for English officials, consistently producing positive movement and dynamic sprinting to ensure that they are in close proximity to play.
This aspect of their performance creates the foundation for accurate decision-making.
The fitness test forms the basis on which to build and hopefully the PGMOL will move towards preparing referees at the start of their careers to meet this test.