New Zealand referees Matt Conger and Mark Rule have been named among the match officials for the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar.
Conger is one of 36 match referees selected by FIFA while Rule joins a pool of 69 officials to be assistant referees at the tournament in November/December.
Conger has already experienced conditions in Qatar, having refereed at the FIFA Arab Cup in December and at the Oceania World Cup qualifiers in March.
Conger refereed at the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018 while Rule was an assistant referee in Brazil in 2014.
Main photo: Matt Conger … off to his second World Cup finals. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
The 129 officials chosen for the tournament also include 24 video match officials, and the list includes six women who will become the first to officiate at a men’s World Cup finals.
To prepare for the finals, the selected officials will participate in seminars (Asunción, Madrid and Doha), reviewing and analysing video clips of real match situations, and taking part in practical training sessions with players, which will be filmed to enable participants to receive instant feedback from the instructors.
Massimo Busacca, FIFA’s Director of Refereeing, said: “The key focuses of the preparation remain protecting players and the image of the game, consistency, uniformity, reading the game from a technical and tactical perspective and understanding a variety of player and team mentalities.
“We can’t eliminate all mistakes but we will do everything we can to reduce them.”