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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Referees' wages doubled for World Cup finals

FRANKFURT, April 18 (Reuters) - Referees at the 2006 World Cup have won a 100 per cent pay rise and will earn £23,000 each.

The refereeing bill at the month-long tournament will top £2.3million, FIFA said on Tuesday.

Twenty-three referees have been chosen to run the 64 games in Germany from June 9 to July 9.

Each referee will be backed by two assistants. They will also get £23,000 as will each member of the seven 'reserve' refereeing trios, even if they are not called into action.

'The fee per referee has doubled from South Korea and Japan four years ago when it was £11,500 each,' FIFA general secretary Urs Linsi told a news conference on Tuesday.

'For the first time we're also giving something to the referees and assistants who don't make it. They've worked hard and come a long way, even if in the end they weren't successful.'

FIFA originally had 46 referees and the 16 who did not make the cut will get £11,500 each, as will 23 unsuccessful assistants.