FIFA moves to abolish 45-year-age limit for international match referees


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MARRAKECH, Morocco — FIFA is abolishing age limits for international referees.

FIFA says it is relaxing the rule which forced match officials to leave its international list at the end of the year they turned 45.

Now, referees "shall be carefully evaluated" annually after reaching that age.

FIFA said Friday officials will undergo "technical assessments, medical examinations and fitness tests" by its referees committee.

The annually updated list comprises officials proposed by national federations and confederations, and approved by FIFA for national team matches.

The FIFA executive committee decision comes after President Sepp Blatter was affected by an IOC ruling on age limits last week.

The Olympic movement upheld a rule forcing IOC members to step down in the year they reach 80.

Blatter, a member since 1999, will leave in 2016.

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