The last official FIFA survey (“Big Count 2006”) revealed that there were approximately 900,000 registered referees and assistant referees worldwide – across all levels of football. Of these, about 90% are male and 10% female. There are currently also around 3,400 registered international referees wearing FIFA badges.
This section will provide an overview of the relevant physiological and medical aspects relating to match officials. Clinicians working in football need to understand the specific match demands, the fitness requirements, the injury profile, and other related issues of these athletes.