Officiating at the FIFA World Cup is the greatest career challenge a football referee will face. The eyes of the world are on the referees and the scrutiny is intense. Becoming a FIFA referee entails strenuous fitness evaluations, workshops and aptitude tests to prepare physically and psychologically for the challenge.
For officials, the road to the World Cup is as competitive and demanding as it is for players. Referee and assistant referee candidates have their fitness monitored monthly in the three years leading up to the Cup. They meet with a psychologist who analyzes their game demeanor. They attend seminars on the rules in an attempt to apply them equally across every continent where soccer is played. They go online to a virtual classroom to discuss their doubts and concerns with instructors and colleagues.