Oceania Football Confederation > News > Unclassified > OFC REFEREES FIT FOR UPCOMING FIFA EVENTS


Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) will send six match officials to the upcoming FIFA U-20 and U-17 World Cups after they all passed FIFA standard fitness tests in the past week.

FIFA qualified referee Mike Hester (NZL) will be accompanied by assistant referee Tevita Makasina (TON) and Jan Hendrik Hintz (NZL) in Nigeria for the U-17 event while referee Peter O’Leary (NZL) will head the second trio consisting of Mathew Taro (SOL) and Brent Best (NZL) for the U-20 event in Egypt.

All six officials underwent stringent physical fitness testing at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium athletics track under the watchful gaze of FIFA/OFC Fitness Trainer Kader Touati from France.  

Touati said he was pleased to see all six officials plus one non-traveling match official, Mark Rule (NZL), comfortably pass the required shuttle run, 40 metre sprint and multi-stage ‘beep tests’.

“The testing went very well. They all have maintained a high level of fitness, this was a good pass for all (seven) referees today, there were no fitness issues,” Touati said.

With both trios in the running for an appointment at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™, these age group tournaments will act as an important part of the screening process.

Hester, who has become one of Oceania’s most experienced referees in recent years and recently officiated at the FIFA Confederations Cup, says he is looking forward to the challenge in Nigeria.

"This tournament presents a realistic opportunity to press our claim for selection at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ but ultimately you’ve got to take it one match at a time so that’ll be our approach," said Hester.

"But we’ll certainly be looking to take advantage of the opportunity."

The FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 will take place from 24 September to 16 October while the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009 will be held 24 October to 15 November.  


Priscilla Duncan

Oceania Football Confederation

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Joel Tiller

Oceania Football Confederation

Media & Communications

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