Top SA referee gets Brazil call-up

2014-01-20 11:11

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While the details of Daniel Bennett’s role at this year’s Fifa World Cup in Brazil have yet to be confirmed, the man who has been there before – Jerome Damon – has encouraged the 37-year-old schoolteacher to make the most of the learning experience.

Fifa has released a list of match officials who will officiate at the Brazil tournament and Bennett received a call-up. His name appears under “support duos”.

Bennett will be the country’s sole representative in Brazil. He is one of two “reserve” referees from Africa.

Damon, who was in a similar situation in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, said: “He will do everything the other referees will be doing, including running fitness tests and meetings as he will be part of the refereeing team. He must just go there and enjoy himself as it will be a learning experience for him.

“He will go as far as being the fourth and fifth official in some games and that means he will be part of the event. He might even officiate if the need arises,” said Damon, who is still out of the national panel until he passes a fitness test.

The former World Cup referee has advised Bennett not to take his eye off the ball between now and the World Cup in June as Fifa will follow and monitor him regularly.

“For him to have made the cut is an achievement as Fifa has shown confidence in him. He will gain a lot and it will not surprise me if he goes to the next World Cup,” said the Cape Town schoolteacher.

He officiated at the 2010 Fifa World Cup here at home after his trial run in Germany 2006.

Fifa said the selected officials would participate in three seminars between now and June.

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