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Soccer-Webb included as FIFA name World Cup referees


BERNE, Jan 15 (Reuters) - World Cup final referee Howard Webb has been included among the 25 who were named by FIFA on Wednesday for this year's tournament in Brazil.

The list included nine referees from Europe, five from South America, four from Asia, three each from Africa and CONCACAF and one from Oceania. Each referee was selected as a part of a team including two linesmen.

Felix Brych was picked from Germany, Carlos Velasco from Spain and Nicola Rizzoli from Italy, while there were no referees from France. Sandro Ricci was named as Brazil's referee and Nestor Pitana from Argentina.

Webb handed out 14 yellow cards and one red in the Spain-Netherlands final in 2010, although he was widely criticised for failing to send off any Dutch players in a wild first half as Spain went on to win 1-0 after extra time.

"FIFA has implemented a comprehensive programme to ensure that the referees for its flagship competition are in peak condition," soccer's governing body said in a statement.

"The referees selected for the World Cup in Brazil have been chosen based especially on their personality and their quality in football understanding by being able to read the game and the teams' tactical approaches towards each game." (Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by John O'Brien)

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