One part of the recently picked 33rd team participating in FIFA World Cup 2014 met for another important seminar held in Zurich to prepare for the challenges awaiting the referees and assistant referees from Asia, Europe and Oceania in Brazil.
Between 24 and 28 March, the 17 referees eferees and 31 assistant referees have undergone several medical, physical, psychological and technical checks, in order to give them an impression of their current status.
Germany's representative Felix Brych highlighted the immense importance of these seminars, as they allowed the officials "to shift the focus to [the World Cup]". In addition, the match officials were shown several match situations and the respective instructions given by FIFA's referee department headed by Massimo Busacca (among others, a sending-off in the play-off between Ukraine and France as well as a red card in the Club World Cup 3rd Place match). Doing so, the referees were internalized a "uniform criterion in the application of the Laws of the Game", as Brych further pointed out. Besides technical instructions and medical checks, FIFA spent a lot of energy into preparing their officials adequately on a mental and psychological level - an aspect that was deemed as very relevant by Dutch referee Björn Kuipers: "Many people can talk about you, so you have to be very strong in your mental part."
Massimo Busacca drew a positive conclusion after this week-long seminar: "I am very impressed by the dedication the referees and assistant referees did during this week."
Watch this video to get more impressions on what Team 33 did in Zurich last week!