The Paris World Cup will welcome this year referees from all around the world. We had the chance to interview Daniele Curcio, the Referee Director of the Paris World Cup’s 1st edition. Presentation of the refereeing system of this year.

PWC : Can you introduce yourself ?

Daniele Curcio : My name is Daniele Curcio. I have been a referee since 2003 and since 2010 I founded together with my colleague Matthew Day from England Tournaments Abroad, an international network of referees whicb work in a number of international football tournaments around the world, from Spain to Portugal, from the USA to China. In particular, since 2011 I am the Referee Director for one of Europe’s top international tournaments: the Ibercup which is held every year in Portugal, Spain and now also the USA. During my time as referee director for these tournaments I have had the chance of working with many top referees and observers from many nations, including Peter Frojdfeldt of Sweden, Jozef Marko of Slovakia and Mark Clattenburg of England.

What will be your role at the Paris World Cup ?

I agreed with the tournament directors of the Paris World Cup that I will bring to the PWC my expertise as Referee Director. In particular, my role will be to select, coordinate, evaluate and appoint all the referees involved in the tournament.

Who will be the referees at the Paris World Cup ? Do the referees come also from all around the world ? How many referees will there be in total ?

Yes. We will bring a strong team of young, developing and promising officials from all around the World. We want the Paris World Cup to become one of Europe’s top events and this must be reflected also in the quality of refereeing. In particular, for the first edition of the tournament we will see the participation of 108 referees from around 20 different nations.

Was there a selection to become a Paris World Cup referee ? If so, what were the criterias ?

There was, a tournament like the PWC attracts a lot of interest from teams and referees alike. We selected those we believe can do a better job during the tournament. In particular, we wanted referees to be young, motivated, up-and-coming. In short, referees who have showed potential in becoming professional referees in the future. Also this year we will have the pleasure of hosting a special referee guest: Djamal Haimoudi of Algeria who is the referee who was in charge of the 3rd/4th place final during the last World Cup (Brazil 2014).

How many referees will there be for each game ?

Each game will be covered by 4 referees: a main referee, two assistant referees and 1 fourth official. Only exceptions will be 7-a-side games in the younger age categories which will be officiated by just 2 referees.

By who and how will be chosen the referees for each game ?

I will ultimately be responsible for this decision, from the first games up until the finals. Me and my staff will evaluate the referees performance during the tournament and only the best ones will be appointed on the finals on July 11th.

How many games per day are going to do the referees during the week ?

It depends. On average they will referee 3 or 4 games per day, one as referee, one or two as assistant referee and one as fourth official.

There a lot of philosophies on the way of referreeing, will there be any instructions given to the referees before the tournament ?

We trust our referees when it comes to styles of refereeing. Of course some indications will be given but the first and most important rule is “enjoy the game”, referees are there to apply the rules and not to be protagonists. Let the game flow, enjoy the football.

Do you have a message for the participants of the Paris World Cup ?

The PWC will be a great opportunity for referees, players, coaches and spectators alike to show to the world what a great sport football is. I hope this tournament will be played under the banner of sportmanship, respect and friendship. A great celebration of football and refereeing.