Accessibility links

FIFA President Wants Professional Referees

International Football Federation president Sepp Blatter says he wants professional referees throughout the game to prevent financial scandals like the one involving German official Robert Hoyzer.

The FIFA president said in an interview with the German magazine Kicker that professional referees seem to be the solution. Mr. Blatter said there is a lot of money available in professional football, and paying the referees about $132,000 a year would help prevent match fixing and cheating.

The salary would depend upon the league. The English and French leagues currently employee professional referees, but leagues in Germany, Italy, and Spain do not have contracts with the officials.

Robert Hoyzer, a referee in Germany's lower division, has admitted accepting money from gamblers to fix games that he was officiating. The scandal has rocked German football just over one year before Germany hosts the World Cup.

Some information for this story provided by AFP and Reuters.