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UEFA announces teams of officials

sports Updated: Dec 19, 2007 22:32 IST

AP
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Soccer referees from 12 countries were appointed Wednesday to officiate at next year's European Championship.

The team of officials will be comprised of a referee and two assistants from the same country, UEFA said in a statement. UEFA also picked eight fourth officials.

"It is never easy to select the final list of names to officiate at a tournament as prestigious as the UEFA European Football Championship," UEFA Referees' Committee chairman Angel Maria Villar Llona said. "However, these officials are currently the best in the business at the moment and deserve their chance." The 16-team competition opens on June 7, with the final set for June 29. The 31 matches will take place at eight venues, four in Austria and four in Switzerland.

The teams of referees are from Austria, Belgium, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland

The fourth officials are from Croatia, France, Hungary, Iceland, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and Slovenia.

UEFA also said the match officials would use an earpiece system which "should facilitate quick and efficient communication." The 44 selected officials are to attend a seminar in Switzerland in April, where they will have a physical test and be given instructions for the final tournament.

Also, the chosen teams will no longer be able to officiate any international friendlies involving the teams that have qualified for Euro 2008.

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