A new communication system for referees is being implemented and hopefully will be ready for the World Cup 2006 that starts in Germany on June 9th.
It will be a way for the referee to communicate with the two assistants and the fourth official during the game. Last December FIFA rejected the idea of a smart ball, system that would avoid mistakes on goal line decisions but the Federation decided that it needed more testing so that it wouldn't be ready for the next World Cup.
Three different systems are being tested in Zurich to choose one of them. Another option they have in mind during this process is to improve one of the three systems taking the best of each one.
Two important details that are being tested are: make sure that there is no interference in the communication and that people won't be able to listen into the referees conversations.
The 44 refereeing trios still in the running for World Cup places got together last Tuesday for a four-day workshop in order to test their knowledge of the game, skills in English, ability to manage with stress, interpretation of the rules of the game and levels of mental and physical fitness.
On March 31st FIFA is going to decide how many referee teams will be used during the World Cup. This number shouldn't be higher then 36.
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By: Julie Smith