World Cup Referees Learning English Swear Words

June 10, 2010 - 12:20 PM
The Brazilian referee and his assistants who will work the England-United States match at the World Cup have been studying English-language obscenities the players might use.

England soccer player Wayne Rooney wears a crucifix during a team training session in Rustenburg, South Africa, Tuesday June 8, 2010. England are preparing for the upcoming soccer World Cup, where they will play in Group C. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Rustenburg, South Africa (AP) - The Brazilian referee and his assistants who will work the England-United States match at the World Cup have been studying English-language obscenities the players might use.
 
Carlos Simon will referee Saturday's match in Rustenburg, assisted by Roberto Braatz and Altemir Hausmann. They want to ensure players can't get away with abuse.
 
"We have to learn what kind of words the players say," Hausmann told Brazilian broadcaster Globo Sport. "All players swear and we know we will hear a few."
 
Braatz says they aren't learning them in "11 different languages, but at least we have to know the swear words in English."
 
FIFA denied reports that match officials have been given lists of swear words to listen for, but did say proficiency in English was a requirement for referees and assistants working the World Cup.
 
In addition, refereeing officials briefed all teams about the rules, including the potential for players to be cautioned or sent off for abusive language or gestures.
 
"There should not be any surprises to any members of the teams," FIFA spokesman Alex Stone said.
 
Stone said there was no requirement for referees to know obscenities in languages other than English.
 
"Refereeing is an impossible job, it's a difficult job, and emotions run high on both teams," U.S. goalie Tim Howard said. "So we've been warned to keep our emotions in check and watch our mouths, and I'm sure we're going to try to the best of our ability to do that. I don't think it will go 100 percent as planned.
 
"But we have a lot of respect for the referees, so there won't be any problem from our end."
 
Wayne Rooney received a yellow card during England's warmup match against South African club Platinum Stars on Monday for swearing at the referee.
 
"In this day and age I think it's important to show the referees some respect," England captain Steven Gerrard said Thursday. "You don't use any language because then you'll be booked and the whole team suffers. You don't want to fall into that trap ...
 
"We've had experience of losing big players at important times."