FIFA approved the list of nine referees and nine assistant referees for the prestigious event, which also acts as Oceania’s stage two qualifier for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
The officials will take charge of 16 games across 10 days as the national teams of Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu fight to keep their World Cup dreams alive.
The winner will qualify directly to the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, while the four highest-placed teams will go on to contest stage three – a round-robin, home-and-away play-off series concluding in March 2013.
All match officials have been tested regularly for fitness and competency through the FIFA Referee Assistance Programme led by Development Officer Massimo Raveino.
There is plenty of experience within the group including the likes of New Zealand referee Peter O’Leary who represented OFC at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ as well as appearing in several U-17, U-20 and Club World Cups.
Three match officials will represent the host nation with Gerald Oiaka, John Saohu and Jackson Namo all making the cut. The other countries represented include Cook Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tahiti and Vanuatu.
Appointments for the Nations Cup were based on a number of factors including neutrality, previous experience as well as the potential to officiate at future FIFA events.
Massimo Raveino says the selected officials have worked hard for this reward.
“It is important to recognise the commitment of these individuals who continuously strive to raise standards,” says Raveino.
“In terms of experience, many have officiated at FIFA World Cups as well as various OFC events. We acknowledge their efforts to date and will now work closely with them to ensure they are at the top of their game for the tournament in June.”
The participation of the 18 match officials will be subject to a stringent fitness test to be conducted prior to the tournament. In addition, a FIFA/OFC Elite Refereeing course is set to take place in Solomon Islands from 29-31 May as part of the preparations.
OFC Nations Cup 2012
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ – Oceanian Zone Stage 2 Qualifier
Andrew ACHARI (FIJ)
Isidore ASSIENE-AMBASSA (NCL)
Bruce GEORGE (VAN)
Norbert HAUATA (TAH)
Chris KERR (NZL)
Gerald OIAKA (SOL)
Peter O'LEARY (NZL)
John SAOHU (SOL)
Abdelkader ZITOUNI (TAH)
Paul AHUPU (TAH)
David CHARLES (PNG)
Jan Hendrik HINTZ (NZL)
Michael JOSEPH (VAN)
Ravinesh KUMAR (FIJ)
Tevita MAKASINI (TGA)
Jackson NAMO (SOL)
Terry PIRI (COK)
Mark RULE (NZL)
The official match schedule is available here