Video warning for the game's hard men

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The Independent Online
THE World Cup organisers are again using the competition to hammer home their determination to rid football of the cynical, reckless challenge which jeopardises a player's future.

The competing nations in France, as well as referees, have been reminded by Fifa that overt aggression will be punished by the red card in a toughening up of the instruction first issued at USA 94. Few would deny that that initiative resulted in a cleaner game at all levels.

To ensure the likes of David Batty, Paul Ince and their midfield counterparts receive the message, Fifa has put together a video film for all 32 teams as well as for member associations spelling out that any tackle which threatens an opponent's safety will lead to a sending-off.

The recording shows past matches and differentiates between those challenges which will induce a red card, a yellow card or where a free-kick is sufficient punishment. So concerned was Glenn Hoddle about the inhibiting effect the move might have on his players, that he asked Paul Durkin, England's refereeing representative in France, to control a series of training sessions and point out where players had put themselves in danger of dismissal.

Refereeing officials insist it is not a new ruling, rather a reminder that the dangerous challenge will no longer be tolerated. "There has been an over-emphasis in the media about the tackle from behind but in reality any tackle which is reckless, whether it comes head-on, from the side, or from behind, will receive the red card,'' said the FA's director of refereeing Ken Ridden. "It's a reminder to referees who in the past may have opted to caution the player instead."

Fifa's ruling has prompted fears that the World Cup will witness a rash of red cards with some games ending up as eight-a-side.

However Robert Raia, secretary of Fifa's refereeing committee, dismissed that saying: "By the time the competition starts the players will be fully aware what the officials will be looking for."

Thirty-four referees, who have appeared near the top of Fifa's rankings, have been selected to officiate in France. For the first time it was decided to set a limit of one per country.

Every referee has been assigned one game in the Group section. Their involvement thereafter depends on them performing to the required standard.

The 34 World Cup referees

A Al Zeid (Saudi Arabia)

E Baharmast (USA)

M Batta (France)

S Belqola (Morocco)

G Benko (Austria)

L Bouchardeau (Nigeria)

A Brizio Carter (Mexico)

A Bujsaim (UAE)

J Castrilli (Argentina)

P Collina (Italy)

H Dallas (Scotland)

P Durkin (England)

J-M Garcia Aranda (Spain)

G Ghandour (Egypt)

E Gonzalez Chavez (Paraguay)

B Heynemann (Germany)

E Lennie (Australia)

N Levnikov (Russia)

An-Yan Lim Kee Chong (Mauritius)

I McLeod (South Africa)

U Meier (Switzerland)

V Melo Pereira (Portugal)

K Nielsen (Denmark)

M Okada (Japan)

R Pedersen (Norway)

R Ramdhan (Trinidad & Tobago)

M Rezende De Freitas (Brazil)

M Sanchez Yanten (Chile)

A Tejada Noriega (Peru)

J Toro Rendon (Colombia)

P Un-Prasert (Thailand)

L Vagner (Hungary)

M Van der Ende (Netherlands)

R Wojcik (Poland)

Who officiates where in the first week

June 10: Brazil v Scotland: Jose Manuel Garcia Aranda (Spain). Morocco v Norway: Pirom Un-Prasert (Thailand). June 11: Cameroon v Austria: Epifanio Gonzalez Chavez (Paraguay). Italy v Chile: Lucien Bouchardeau (Nigeria). June 12: Saudi Arabia v Denmark: Javier Castrilli (Argentina). France v South Africa: Marcio Rezende de Freitas (Brazil). Paraguay v Bulgaria: Abdul Rahman Al Zeid (Saudi Arabia). June 13: Netherlands v Belgium: Pierluigi Collina (Italy). South Korea v Mexico: Gunter Benkoe (Austria). Spain v Nigeria: Esfandiar Baharmast (USA). June 14: Jamaica v Croatia: Manuel Melo Pereira (Portugal). Yugoslavia v Iran: Alberto Tejada Noriega (Peru). Argentina v Japan: Mario van der Ende (Netherlands). June 15: Germany v USA: Said Belqola (Morocco). Romania v Colombia: An- Yan Lim Kee Chong (Mauritius). England v Tunisia: Masayoshi Okada (Japan). June 16: Scotland v Norway: Laszlo Vagner (Hungary). Brazil v Morocco: Nikolai Levnikov (Russia). June 17: Chile v Austria: Gamal Ghandour (Egypt). Italy v Cameroon: Edward Lennie (Australia). June 18: France v Saudi Arabia: Arturo Brizio Carter (Mexico). South Africa v Denmark: John Jairo Toro Rendon (Colombia). June 19: Nigeria v Bulgaria: Mario Sanchez Yanten (Chile). Spain v Paraguay: Ian McLeod (South Africa). June 20: Netherlands v South Korea: Ryszard Wojcik (Poland). Belgium v Mexico: Hugh Dallas (Scotland). Japan v Croatia: Ramesh Rhamdan (Trinidad and Tobago). June 21: Argentina v Jamaica: Rune Pedersen (Norway). Germany v Yugoslavia: Kim Nielsen (Denmark). USA v Iran: Urs Meier (Switzerland). June 22: Colombia v Tunisia: Bernd Heynemann (Germany). Romania v England: Marc Batta (France). June 23: Italy v Austria: Paul Durkin (England). Scotland v Morocco: Ali Mohamed Bujsaim (United Arab Emirates).