FIFA has named just 23 referees to cover the 64 games at the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.

The Referees Committee made the final choice from 44 candidates.

A total of 36 referees officiated at the last World Cup in South Korea and Japan in 2002 and FIFA had been expected to choose around 30 this time.

Instead, FIFA named a seven-strong group of “support” referees who will only officiate in the event of another referee being unable to take charge of a match because of injury or illness, for example.

“The 33rd team at the World Cup – the 23 referees who will be in action in Germany – are currently the best match officials in the world,” said FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

“That is the way it has to be as they will have a crucial role to play in this tournament, and great demands will be placed upon them.”

The World Cup begins on June 9 in Munich when hosts Germany play Costa Rica.

Referees list
Family name First name Country Date of birth
ABD EL FATAH Essam Egypt 30.12.1965
AMARILLA Carlos Paraguay 26.10.1970
ARCHUNDIA Benito Mexico 21.03.1966
BATRES* Carlos Guatemala 02.04.1968
BUSACCA Massimo Switzerland 06.02.1969
CODJIA Coffi Benin 09.12.1967
DE BLEECKERE* Frank Belgium 01.07.1966
DE SANTIS Massimo Italy 08.04.1962
ELIZONDO Horacio Argentina 04.11.1963
IVANOV Valentin Russia 04.07.1961
KAMIKAWA Toru Japan 08.06.1963
LARRIONDA Jorge Uruguay 09.03.1968
MAIDIN Shamsul Singapore 16.04.1966
MEJUTO GONZALEZ Manuel Spain 16.04.1965
MERK Markus Germany 15.03.1962
MICHEL Lubos Slovakia 16.05.1968
POLL Graham England 29.07.1963
POULAT Eric France 08.12.1963
PRENDERGAST Peter Jamaica 23.09.1963
RUIZ Oscar Colombia 01.11.1969
SHIELD Mark Australia 02.09.1973
SIMON Carlos Brazil 03.09.1965
VASSARAS Kyros Greece 01.02.1966
• subject to the fitness tests that Batres and De Bleeckere must take and pass.

Support list
Family name First name Country Date of birth
AL GHAMDI Khalil Saudi Arabia 02.09.1970
CHANDIA Carlos Chile 14.11.1964
DAMON Jerome South Africa 04.04.1972
GUEZZAZ Mohamed Morocco 01.10.1962
MEDINA CANTALEJO Luis Spain 01.03.1964
RODRIGUEZ Marco Mexico 10.11.1973
ROSETTI Roberto Italy 18.09.1967