World football governing body Fifa on Thursday named 36 referees to officiate at the 2018 World Cup.
Leading the centre-men are Felix Brych of Germany, who officiated last season’s UEFA Champions League final match between Real Madrid and Juventus.
Fifa also added that its Referees Commission picked 63 assistant referees, with the 99 match officials representing 46 countries for the Mundial.
They were selected from 53 referee trios in a three-year process through preparatory seminars and “based on each referee’s skills and personality’’.
“The Commission also put into consideration each referee’s level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams,” FIFA said
It said Europe is providing the most number of referees with 10 and also the most number of assistants with 20.
But, for the first time, there is no World Cup referee from England, while Nigeria have once again failed to produce officials for a top footballing event.
FIFA, however, said another seminar has been scheduled for the last weeks of April in Italy to further prepare the referees.
“It will also include candidates to act as video assistant referee (VAR), with the technology making its debut at the June 14 to July 15 tournament in Russia.
“A final seminar for all officials will then start in Moscow 10 days before the first match,’’ FIFA said.