MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. Three Russian specialists were included in the list of 36 referees and 63 assistant referees selected to officiate at matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which kicks off in Russia this summer, the FIFA said in its statement on Thursday.
The trio of specialists from Russia in the FIFA-approved list includes referee Sergey Karasev and assistant referees Anton Averianov and Tikhon Kalugin.
"The FIFA Referees Committee has selected 36 referees and 63 assistant referees, representing 46 different countries, for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia," the statement from FIFA said.
"Preparations for the road to Russia kicked off in September 2014 not only for the 32 participating teams, but also for the initial group of 53 FIFA referee trios from around the world," the statement said.
"The choice of the final group of match officials selected to officiate at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia was based on each referee’s skills and personality, as well as his level of understanding of football and ability to read both the game and the various tactics employed by teams."
The world’s governing football body also stated that all selected referees will have to undergo dedicated seminars, particularly in late April at the technical centre of the Italian Football Association in Coverciano, Italy, and at the FIFA World Cup match officials’ headquarters in Moscow, ten days before the launch of the world championship.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in 76 days with the opening match in the Russian capital of Moscow.
Russia selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.
The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in the Russian capital.