Tunisian referee Slim Jdidi, suspended by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) last month after an error-strewn performance at the African Nations Cup, has been retained on FIFA’s shortlist for next year’s World Cup.
Jdidi is among seven prospective World Cup referees from Africa named by FIFA to attend a seminar in Casablanca from April 27-30, the latest in a series of training camps, seminars and tests for those on the Brazil shortlist.
Jdidi, 42, was suspended indefinitely after the Nations Cup semi-final where he sent off Burkina Faso’s Jonathan Pitroipa and denied a legitimate looking penalty claim but handed a dubious spot kick to opponents Ghana at Nelspruit, South Africa, on Feb. 6.
His suspension was announced the next day by CAF, who went on to rescind Pitroipa’s red card and allow him to play in the final in an unprecedented bending of the rules after Jdidi wrote a letter admitting he had made an error.
Jdidi has continued to handle matches in Tunisia’s Ligue 1 but has not been used for any international assignments since the suspension.
World Cup candidate refereeing teams from other continents will attend similar seminars in Asuncion, Dubai, Fort Lauderdale and Zurich in April.
Fifty-two referees, each with their own designated pair of assistants, have been shortlisted for the World Cup. The list will be cut to 30 for next year’s finals in Brazil.