Henry handball referee selected for South Africa

JOHANNESBURG - Swede Martin Hansson, who was at the centre of France's controversial World Cup qualification, was named on Friday among the 30 referees for the finals in South Africa in June.

Hansson failed to spot Thierry Henry's handball in the play-off second leg against Ireland in Paris in November and was widely criticised after the incident led to the goal which allowed France to qualify.

He was however named after Friday's meeting in Zurich of the refereeing committee of world football's governing body FIFA.

Among the other officials appointed were Englishman Howard Webb and Swiss referee Massimo Busacca, who have also grabbed headlines over the last year.

Eight officials return from the 2006 finals in Germany where the refereeing was roundly condemned after a spate of controversies.

It led to FIFA setting up a special referee's assistance programme to better train top officials for the 2010 finals.

ARCHUNDIA CHOSEN

Among those returning is Benito Archundia of Mexico, who handled the 2006 semi-final between Germany and Italy, and Italian Roberto Rosetti, who also officiated the Euro 2008 final in Vienna.

Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo, who turned down a raft of penalty appeals by Chelsea in last season's Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona, was overlooked.

The 30 referees are made up of 10 from Europe, six from South America, four from the Asian, African and CONCACAF confederations and two from New Zealand.

Each official has his team of two assistants who have worked with him consistently over the last two years.

Only one of the two Swedish linesmen from the match between France and Ireland made the selection. Stefan Wittberg was included but Fredrik Nilsson missed out.

Busacca was suspended last year after giving a middle-finger salute to supporters chanting verbal abuse in a Swiss Cup game while Webb changed his mind over a penalty decision in last year's Confederations Cup.

The following teams of officials were named by FIFA on Friday for the World Cup finals from June 11-July 11 in South Africa:

ASIA

Khalil Ibrahim Al Ghamdi (Saudi Arabia, referee), Hassan Kamranifar (Iran), Saleh Mohamed Al Marzouqi (United Arab Emirates, assistants)

Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan, referee), Rafael Ilyasov (Uzbekistan), Bahadyr Kochkarov (Kyrgyzstan, assistants)

Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh (Malaysia, referee), Mu Yuxin (China), Jeffrey Goh Gek Pheng (Singapore, assistants)

Yuichi Nishimura (Japan, referee), Toru Sagara (Japan), Hae Sang Jeong (South Korea, assistants)

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AFRICA

Mohamed Benouza (Algeria, referee), Nasser Abdel Nabi (Egypt), Maamar Chabane (Algeria, assistants)

Koman Coulibaly (Mali, referee), Redouane Achik (Morocco), Manuel Candido (Angola, assistants)

Jerome Damon (South Africa, referee), Celestin Ntagungira (Rwanda), Enock Molefe (South Africa, assistants)

Eddy Maillet (Seychelles, referee), Evarist Menkouande (Cameroon), Bechir Hassani (Tunisia, assistants)

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CONCACAF

Joel Aguilar (El Salvador, referee), William Torres, Francisco Zumba (both El Salvador, assistants)

Benito Archundia (Mexico, referee), Hector Vergara (Canada), Marvin Cesar Torrentera Rivera (Mexico, assistants)

Carlos Alberto Batres (Guatemala, referee), Leonel Leal (Costa Rica), Carlos Pastrana (Honduras, assistants)

Marco Rodriquez (Mexico, referee), Jose Luis Camargo Callado, Alberto Morin Mendez (both Mexico, assistants)

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EUROPE

Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal, referee), Jose Manuel Silva, Bertino Miranda (both Portugal, assistants)

Massimo Busacca (Switzerland, referee), Matthias Arnet, Francesco Buragina (both Switzerland, assistants)

Frank de Bleeckere (Belgium, referee), Peter Hermans, Walter Vromans (both Belgium, assistants)

Martin Hansson (Sweden, referee), Henrik Andren, Stefan Wittberg (both Sweden, assistants)

Viktor Kassai (Hungary, referee), Gabor Eros, Tibor Vamos (both Hungary, assistants)

Stephane Lannoy (France, referee), Eric Dansault, Laurent Ugo (both France, assistants)

Roberto Rosetti (Italy, referee), Paolo Calcagno, Stefano Ayroldi (both Italy, assistants)

Wolfgang Stark (Germany, referee), Jan Salver, Mike Pickel (both Germany, assistants)

Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain, referee), Fermin Martinez Ibanez, Juan Carlos Yuste Jimenez (both Spain, assistants)

Howard Webb (England, referee), Darren Cann, Michael Mullarkey (both England, assistants)

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OCEANIA

Michael Hester (New Zealand, referee), Jan-Hendrik Hintz (New Zealand), Tevita Makasini (Tonga, assistants)

Peter O'Leary (New Zealand, referee), Brent Best (New Zealand), Matthew Taro (Solomon Islands, assistants)

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SOUTH AMERICA

Carlos Amarilla Demarqui (Paraguay, referee), Emigdio Ruiz Roa, Nicolas Yegros (both Paraguay, assistants)

Hector Baldassi (Argentina, referee), Ricardo Casas, Hernan Maidana (both Argentina, assistants)

Jorge Larrionda (Uruguay, referee), Pablo Fandino, Mauricio Espinosa (both Uruguay, assistants)

Pablo Pozo Quinteros (Chile, referee), Patricio Basualto, Francisco Mondria (both Chile, assistants)

Oscar Ruiz Acosta (Colombia, referee), Abraham Gonzalez, Humberto Clavijo (both Colombia, assistants)

Carlos Simon (Brazil, referee), Altemir Hausmann, Roberto Braatz (both Brazil, assistants)