World Cup - International

World Cup referees announced

Zombie Collina has no patience for your diving, Didier.

The thirty referees who will handle South Africa’s World Cup matches were announced over the weekend.

And yes, “handle” is being used in a punny sense here as Swedish whistleman Martin Hansson is the most controversial inclusion. Hansson missed Thierry Henry’s clear handball in France’s victory over Ireland that secured their place in South Africa, an event we covered extensively at PhillySoccerPage. The full list is after the jump, courtesy of

Two Mexican referees will run World Cup diagonals, including Marco Rodriguez. Wikipedia says this about the Mexican ref: “He is nicknamed “Chiquidrácula” by the Mexican press due to his resemblance to a childish image of Count Dracula.”

The United States was shut out. Should the MLS be represented? By whom?

Another notable inclusion is Roberto Rosetti of Italy, who is routinely assigned to the top Serie A matches and routinely turns in mediocre performances. If there are any Serie A fans reading this, give us your thoughts on Rosetti in the comments. And if you believe that his stellar reputation is built in part on his emphatic free kick gesturing and sprinting to the spot of a foul, just write, “Here, here!” or its Italian equivalent.


Olegario Benquerenca, Portugal

Massimo Busacca, Switzerland

Frank De Bleekere, Belgium

Martin Hansson, Sweden

Viktor Kassai, Hungary

Stephane Lannoy, France

Roberto Rosetti, Italy

Wolfgang Stark, Germany

Alberto Undiano Mallenco

Howard Webb, England

South America

Carlos Amarilla, Paraguay

Hector Baldassi, Argentina

Jorge Larrionda, Uruguay

Pablo Pozo, Chile

Oscar Ruiz, Colombia

Carlos Simon, Brazil


Khalil Al Ghamdi, Saudi Arabia

Ravshan Irmatov, Uzbekistan

Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh, Malaysia

Yuichi Nishimura, Japan


Mohamed Benouza, Algeria

Koman Coulibaly, Mali

Jerome Damon, South Africa

Eddy Maillet, Seychelles

North, Central America and Caribbean

Joel Aguilar, El Salvador

Benito Archundia, Mexico

Carlos Batres, Guatemala

Marco Rodriguez, Mexico

Australia and South Pacific

Michael Hester, New Zealand

Peter O’Leary, New Zealand


  1. Howard Webb? I used to really rate him as a ref, but the last year has not been good for him, in my opinion, though he’s showed signs of life recently. Better certainly than Phil Dowd, Mark Clattenberg, or Mike Dean, the other guys who seem to get a lot of the big English games. And he’s younger/fitter than other possibilities, I suppose.

  2. @Jer

    I had a whole separate post about Howard Webb and how the FA has pushed him into the big games. He handles the games well but he has such a noticeable history of missing things in the box! It’s like he calls a different game in the penalty box than he calls outside of it. While many refs do this subconsciously, Webb is on a whole different level (and I’m not just referring to the Fabregas handball in your Gunners’ win over Liverpool. There have been numerous instances over the past few years. The Tottenham/Man U debacle got Webb dropped to the Championship for a week.

    I think that after the Graham Poll triple yellow in WC2006, the FA felt they needed another referee in their stable who seemed “elite”, and Webb was the only choice. They probably wanted Clattenburg but he was too young (and now he’s just returning from 8 month suspension for some financial issues).

    Bottom line: England doesn’t have any refs who are garnering the same international respect that Collina had or that Rosetti has now. It’s too bad because there really isn’t much for Italian refs to do besides making diving calls and gesturing dismissively at Pippo Inzaghi.

  3. Thanks for showing up these names!

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