Match officials for the 2006 FIFA World Cup were nominated by the six confederations to FIFA, who, after a series of tests in Frankfurt/Neu-Isenburg in March 2006, selected 23 referees and a support and development group of a further 5, from a shortlist of 44.
Kyros Vassaras of Greece and Manuel Mejuto of Spain were selected to be on the panel, but the assistants who were to make up their teams were not deemed to have reached the required standards, and so they were replaced by Roberto Rosetti and Luis Medina. Jamaican referee Peter Prendergast was selected for the tournament panel, but suffered a knee injury and was removed from the list without replacement.Massimo De Santis of Italy was also on the panel of 23 referees, but after he was implicated in the Serie A match-fixing allegations, he was withdrawn by the Italian Football Federation and not replaced.
The 21 referees, along with their assistants and the support group, are based in Neu-Isenburg for the duration of the tournament. FIFA announces the referees selected for each fixture three days in advance of the match.
Horacio Elizondo was chosen to officiate the final match, which took place in Berlin on July 9.
Below are the details of the 21 groups of match officials in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. For assistants, a flag is only shown if his nationality varies from that of the referee with whom he is grouped.
Most teams (consisting of a referee and two assistants) are drawn from the same nation, and all are made up of officials from the same confederation. In the first round of the tournament, officials other than from UEFA member associations only operate in groups that do not include a representative of their confederation.
Mexico is the only country with 2 referees on the panel.
For the first time at a World Cup, match officials will be equipped with microphones and earpieces so they can communicate better with each other during each game. Furthermore this World Cup sees the introduction of a fifth official who can be called upon to replace an injured assistant referee. The fourth official would replace the referee..
The Corriere dello Sport newspaper alleges that the referee who presided over Spain’s defeat to South Korea was designated by Jack Warner.
The newspaper claims the under-fire former FIFA executive assigned referees to a number of matches at the tournament, among them Spain's controversial penalty loss to the joint-host nation.
Gaizka Mendieta of Spain grapples with South Korean Seol Ki-hyeonAFP
Egyptian referee Gamal Al-Ghandour was instructed to oversee the quarter-final tie, with Warner’s fellow Trinidadian Michael Ragoonath chosen as his assistant.
The match is remembered for the multitude of questionable officiating decisions, which saw Spain denied two valid goals and eventually crash out 5-3 on penalties.
Warner, a former FIFA vice-President and CONCAFAF head, was charged with corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice on Wednesday.
While it is not suggested that Warner selected the referee for Italy's 2-1 extra-time defeat to South Korea in 2002, the Italian press have long viewed that game with sceptisism.
Ecuadorian referee Byron Moreno, who sent off Francesco Totti during the game, was recently released from a 26-month sentence for drug trafficking in New York.
Ecuadorian referee Byron Moreno is berated by Italy playersLaPresse
After the defeat, Sepp Blatter said "Italy's elimination is not only down to referees and linesmen who made human not premeditated errors ... Italy made mistakes both in defense and in attack."
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