FIFA signed an exclusive contract with the Belgium company TopSportsLab (TSL) to monitor their 300 elite referees towards the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
The pre-selected referees and assistant referees will be supervised daily by TSL. For several years, TopSportsLab has played a role in the guidance of referees worldwide. Football federations from different countries make use of the expertise of TSL. UEFA switched to TSL for Euro 2012 and 2016. In 2015, TSL was contracted by FIFA for the Women’s World Cup in Canada and were tested during Copa America, U-17 World Cup in Chile and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Now there is also a collaboration for the 2018 World Cup. "Where's this going? We've been busy for a couple of years and we're already setting ourselves on this stage," says a proud CEO Alexander Janssen. "It also involves a load of responsibility, but this is what we sought. I am very proud of our young and passionate team of outstanding sports scientists who are all part of football. TopSportsLab is mainly focused on professional football teams, but we have also developed the support of referees in recent years under the guidance of expert Werner Helsen (Professor KU Leuven)".