The referees and linesmen in Ecuador 1995

by Carlos A. Alarcón Rios,
member FIFA Referees' Committee

Referees and Linesmen
Fourteen referees and fifteen linesmen were selected to act as officials for the 3rd U17 World Championship for the FIFA/ JVC trophy in Ecuador from 3 to 20 August 1995.

Divided by continent, there were:
Referees: Europe 4, AFC 2, Conmebol 3, CAF 2, Concacaf 2 and OFC 1.
Linesmen: Europe 3, AFC 3, Conmebol 3, CAF 3, Concacaf 3.

These match officials arrived in Ecuador on 29 July. On 30 and 31 July they attended referees' seminars, designed to allow them to get to know each other, to start to work together and to have further instruction in FIFA's "Unité de doctrine". They also underwent a fitness test. In the 12 minutes' run some of them had trouble meeting the minimum distance requirement set by FIFA's Referees' Commission, one or two falling well short of the mark. However, since their results in all the other parts of the test ranged from good to very good, FIFA decided to keep them all in Ecuador for the tournament.

The linesmen were just as convincing.
The young group of linesmen were just as convincing as the referees.
The disappointing results in the stamina test can be put down to several factors:
  1. There was a psychological effect for many of them, who had never taken this kind of test at high altitude before. In addition this was the first time that they had been asked by FIFA to officiate at a world tournament.
  2. The short acclimatisation period (arrival only three days before the fitness test was carried out). Some of them had more trouble than others, shown for example by inability to sleep, digestive problems, etc. Those who had previous experience of working under similar altitude and climatic conditions (e.g. the U-17 qualification matches in Bolivia) were quicker to adjust.
  3. The hard training session the evening before the test. This factor should not be ignored, since many match officials would prefer to have an extended rest period before being called upon to undergo testing, or to prepare in their own individual and accustomed way for the test coming up.

107 yellow and 10 red cards
107 yellow and 10 red cards (four as a result of two successive yellow cards in the same game) were flourished at Ecuador '95.
FIFA is however happy to report that despite the partially unsatisfactory results in the 12 minutes' run, all the referees were prepared for their first duties during this U17 competition. Both in physical and mental terms they were well up to the demands made of them.

Cooperation between the referees and the linesmen was basically good, with the proviso that problems due to insufficient knowledge of English still exist. Although FIFA had informed all the national associations that a basic knowledge of English was required for all officials, this was not the case in Ecuador. However, in most matches the harmony between the referee and his linesmen was excellent, even when they came from different continents.

Performances in the short distances of the fitness tests were hardly affected by the altitude
Performances in the short distances of the fitness tests were hardly affected by the altitude (here the start to the 50m sprint) but many match officials suffered under the long-distance run.
The handling of Rule 12 was satisfactory. The referees kept an sharp eye on sliding tackles, going in with both feet and on over-physical play in general. Once the players got used to the idea of strict intervention, they adjusted their play accordingly and the number of offences fell.

In summary, the tournament was a challenge for this group of young referees and linesmen. The support they received from the FIFA Referees' Committee and local coordinators before they went into action in the various venues was good. This helped to make the overall impression created by the match officials at this tournament a positive one.

REFEREES AND LINESMEN
Referees
UEFA
IRVINE
MELNICHUK
STRAMPE
STUCHLIK

Leslie
Vasily
Hartmut
Fritz

Northern Ireland
Ukraine
Germany
Austria
AFC
ASGARI
HAJI YAAKUB

Hossein
Nik Ahmad

Iran
Malaysia
CONMEBOL
DA ROSA
GONZALEZ CHAVEZ
ZAMBRANO ALCIVAR

José Luis
Epfianio
Rogger

Uruguay
Paraguay
Ecuador
CAF
BELQOLA
MOUNGUENGUI

Said
Pierre Alain

Morocco
Gabon
CONCACAF
MARRUFO MENDOZA
RAMDHAN

Antonio
Ramesh

Mexico
Trinidad/Tobago
OFC
TASKER

Barry Arthur

New Zealand
Linesmen
UEFA
GIRALDEZ CARRASCO
RAUSIS
SPITERI

Victoriano
Laurent
Mark

Spain
Switzerland
Malta
AFC
AL MUSAWI
HASSONEH
SARKAWI

Mohamed Ahmed
Awni
Salikin

Oman
Jordan
Singapore
CONMEBOL
OLAGUE
SORIA QUISBERT
TERAN RIVERTO

Oscar Ruben
Oscar Rene
Gilberto José

Argentina
Bolivia
Venezuela
CAF
BARKALLAH
SALIE
TEWFIK

Fethi
Achmat
Mohammed

Tunisia
South Africa
Egypt
CONCACAF
TORRES ZUNIGA
UMANZOR MURILLO
VERGARA

Luis Fernando
Osman Reinel
Hector

Costa Rica
Honduras
Canada
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