FIFA's Refereeing Officer Massimo Busacca probably could not believe what he had to notice in yesterday's fitness tests having been a crucial part of this week's seminar for pre-selected referees in Rio de Janeiro. On their road to next year's World Cup, a total number of eight out of ten pre-selected South Americans as well as one standby referee from Brazil (Heber Lopes) have failed the tests.
|At least nine of them failed the yo-yo-tests (c) FIFA.com|
According to the news provided by Árbitro Internacional, Diego Abal (ARG), Antonio Arias (PAR), Víctor Carrillo (PER), Heber Lopes (BRA), Raul Orosco (BOL), Juan Soto (VEN), Martin Vazquez (URU) and Carlos Vera (ECU) have failed the yo-yo-test. Additionally Brazilian Sandro Ricci suffered from an injury during the test and therefore failed it as well.
Only Enrique Osses (CHI), Néstor Pitana (ARG) and Wilmar Roldán (COL) have passed it.
It is only another episode of failed fitness tests in South American refereeing. Before Lopes and Ricci, Brazilian officials Wilson Seneme and Leandro Vuaden had already failed to be physically ready for next year's World Cup to be hosted in their nation. Furthermore, Roberto Silvera (URU) was removed from the prospective list due to injuries, too.
In the end it is unclear how FIFA is going to deal with these circumstances. In fact, all the referees who were originally planned for June's Under-20 World Cup have failed the test. Thus it is quite probable that they get a second chance to repeat the tests.