- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BERLIN (AP) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter believes top international referees should be younger.

Blatter said in an interview posted on the German soccer federation’s website Tuesday that a plan regarding top referees will be released in October or November and “there will be a rejuvenation.”

FIFA has a mandatory retirement age of 45 for referees. Blatter did not give any details of what changes might be made.

The World Cup’s two most-criticized refereeing decisions _ the failure to award England a goal for a shot by Frank Lampard that crossed Germany’s line, and a goal awarded to Argentina ever though scorer Carlos Tevez was offside when he received the ball _ involved referees in their 40s.

The two youngest referees who officiated matches in South Africa, both in their early 30s, were rated highly enough to be given control of the two semifinals.

The final was handled by England’s Howard Webb, then 38, who took extended leave from his job as a policeman to be a professional referee in the Premier League.

“I am also for professional referees, even though I know that there are other opinions on that,” Blatter said.

As for technical support measures, that issue is “a bit more complicated,” he was quoted as saying. “Every system must be carefully checked for its practicability.”

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