DALLAS – As FIFA states on its website, the global nature of football requires that the Laws of Game be applied consistently wherever it is played.
An essential factor of uniform application is a referee or assistant referee’s overall degree of physical conditioning. In order to determine that level, officials are obligated to pass a fitness test.
At the University of Dallas on Friday, elite match officials taking part in the Gold Cup Referee Candidate Course -- including those in the Targeted Advanced Referee Program -- were required to pass the FIFA World Cup Candidate Fitness test, so that they could potentially be considered for an appointment to CONCACAF’s most important competition.
“As part of the evaluation of a referee’s readiness to officiate in CONCACAF’s premier competition, the Gold Cup, we administered the FIFA World Cup Candidate fitness test,” said Alan Brown, a FIFA fitness instructor. “As part of the CONCACAF focus on excellence, we used the test to ensure our referees have world-class endurance and explosiveness.”
This assessment tool is significantly more difficult than the standard fitness test required by FIFA and CONCACAF for previous Gold Cup editions. All referees selected for the World Cup are required to pass the test, which consists of interval runs and sprints.
Brian Hall, CONCACAF’s Director of Refereeing, was delighted with the test’s results and what it said about the dedication of match officials throughout the region.
“All of CONCACAF can be proud of the results displayed by our Gold Cup candidates,” he expressed. “The fitness test results from our elite corps of referees showed that they are committed to being the best they can be and that they understand the demands of the modern game as well as the importance fitness plays in making educated decisions on the field of play.”
The Gold Cup Referee Candidate Course concluded on Sunday and the participants will discover in the near future if they are to work at the competition that starts on July 7 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.