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FIFA World Cup 2018 referees selected - Two from MLS, none from Premier League

By Dom Farrell
MarkGeiger - cropped

London, March 30: The United States will have World Cup representation in the form of two referees but no British officials will be present at Russia 2018.

FIFA confirmed its list of 36 referees and 63 assistants for the tournament on Thursday, with the officials spanning 46 different countries.

However, none come from the Premier League, despite English football's top-flight drawing upon a group of full-time professional referees.

The USA's bid for qualification ended in humiliation but Mark Geiger and Jair Marrufo will be men in the middle in Russia.

Nicola Rizzoli, the referee from the 2014 final, is now retired but Gianluca Rocchi will be present in his place as Italy's representative.

Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz, a referee to have earned the distinction of winning praise from Jose Mourinho, is the Spanish referee named.

The officials selected will attend two weeks of preparatory seminars at the Italian Football Federation's (FIGC) technical centre in Coverciano, which will also include training for video assistant referee (VAR) candidates.

Trialling the VAR system, which will be rolled out in Russia despite receiving a lukewarm reception, does not appear to have influenced the selection of officials.

Australia, Belgium, Portugal and South Korea will not have referees at the World Cup despite their leagues using VAR, which has also been introduced during England's FA Cup this season.

Germany and Poland join Italy and the USA as nations to have trialled VAR domestically and had referees selected for the finals.

Source: OPTA

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    Story first published: Friday, March 30, 2018, 0:30 [IST]
    Other articles published on Mar 30, 2018
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