FIFA Football Referee
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International Federation of Football Associations
Founded in 1904, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the governing body for referees of association football, futsal and beach soccer. FIFA oversees international competition and organizes football’s major international tournaments including the World Cup, which started in 1930, and the Women’s World Cup, which debuted in 1991. Its membership currently numbers 211 national associations.
Referees of football, futsal and beach soccer qualified to officiate at the international level are entitled to wear a FIFA badge on the year they are listed on the FIFA International Referees List. FIFA member countries enlist a referee committee to select male and female referees to be nominated to FIFA each year. FIFA has five lists: men’s and women’s association football referees, men’s and women’s futsal referees and one list for beach soccer referees.
Referees officiating regularly at the highest level of competition and meeting the technical, fitness and medical requirements of their national football association can be nominated to the FIFA International Referees List. Referees nominated to the list undergo a series of fitness tests prior to selection. A FIFA badge is bestowed on referees selected to the list. The FIFA badge is worn while officiating in the games in their listed category but not when officiating a match outside their category.
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To ensure the rules of football are interpreted and applied with absolute consistency wherever the game is played, FIFA has a policy of ongoing training for its referees to ensure refereeing standards continue to improve and the Laws of the Game are always equally applied. FIFA offers an extensive menu of courses to educate and train referees, instructors, coaches, doctors, managers and journalists.
FIFA development activities include the goal program, technical activities and financial assistance. Refereeing programs top the technical activities list, with over 1,200 refereeing courses listed. This includes refereeing courses offered by national associations in Canada, the U.S., Uganda, Pakistan, Peru and many more.
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