The team at You Are The Ref sends our congratulations to the thirty-six selected referees who will officiate at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Bearing in mind that at this World Cup, FIFA will be operating with Video Assistant referees so the specific roles for the officials are still unknown.
We have already expressed our disappointment that England will not have a representative next year and that is sadly down to the lack of a clear succession plan by the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd who really failed to encourage Mark Clattenburg, the nominated English referee, to delay his departure from the Select Group.
Having worked closely with Poll, Webb and Clattenburg, it is essential that in the two seasons leading up to nomination and selection you ensure that your referees are in top form. You have only to look at the appointment records of Poll and Webb that they enjoyed been regularly challenged by officiating the top Premier League games.
Sadly this did not appear to be the strategy adopted by PGMOL Managing Director Mike Riley with regard to Mark Clattenburg who was not treated in the same way.
With no English referee appointed then sadly we are not going to see the fantastic record that has been achieved in previous World Cups by our Assistant Referees who have demonstrated their unique skills by getting appointed to officiate the World Cup final.
I will comment at a later date on what I feel needs to be done to ensure that we do not miss out at the next World Cup.
My view is that Michael Oliver should be earmarked and every effort made in the four years leading up to the next World Cup to prepare him.
He should also be fully supported by the English representative on the UEFA Referees Committee when it comes to appointment to the UEFA Elite Panel of Referees.
Finally I offer my sincere congratulations to Rod Pelosi and Ken Wallace who have clearly produced a winning formula that ensures that another New Zealand Referee will be officiating at the 2018 World Cup Finals.
Fahad AL MIRDASI (KSA)
Alireza FAGHANI (IRN)
Ravshan IRMATOV (UZB)
Mohammed Abdulla MOHAMED (UAE)
Ryuji SATO (JPN)
Nawaf Abdulla SHUKRALLA (BHR)[/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″]CAF
Mehdi ABID CHAREF (ALG)
Malang DIEDHIOU (SEN)
Bakary Papa GASSAMA (GAM)
Ghead GRISHA (EGY)
Janny SIKAZWE (ZAM)
Weyesa Bamlak TESSEMA (ETH)[/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″]CONCACAF
Joel AGUILAR (SLV)
Mark W. GEIGER (USA)
Jair MARRUFO (USA)
Ricardo MONTERO (CRC)
John PITTI (PAN)
Cesar Arturo RAMOS PALAZUELOS (MEX)[/vc_column][/vc_row]
Julio BASCUÑAN (CHI)
Enrique CACERES (PAR)
Andres CUNHA (URU)
Nestor PITANA (ARG)
Sandro RICCI (BRA)
Wilmar ROLDAN (COL)[/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″]OFC
Matthew CONGER (NZL)
Norbert HAUATA (TAH)[/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″]UEFA
Felix BRYCH (GER)
Cüneyt CAKIR (TUR)
Sergey KARASEV (RUS)
Bjorn KUIPERS (NED)
Szymon MARCINIAK (POL)
Antonio Miguel MATEU LAHOZ (ESP)
Milorad MAZIC (SRB)
Gianluca ROCCHI (ITA)
Damir SKOMINA (SVN)
Clement TURPIN (FRA)[/vc_column][/vc_row]