Referees confirmed for 2014 World CupHoward Webb was the referee for Spain's triumph in 2010
Some of the most important people at this year's World Cup won't be rooting for any teams; they won't celebrate any goals; and if there are any contentious decisions, it's more than likely that they'll receive a great deal of negativity for their trouble. However, the event could not take place without them.
The referees for this summer's showpiece event have today been announced and although there is nothing like the same level of interest in this news as there will be when the participants' final squads are being debated and finalised, the men in the middle are vital to the World Cup's success.
Of the 25 selected, nine are from Europe, five from South America, four from Asia, three each from Africa and Concacaf, and one from Oceania.
It's a thankless task at times, but with the tournament happening at the spiritual home of football, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for referees as well.
England's Howard Webb officiated during the final of the 2010 Wrld Cup in South Africa and will again be on duty in Brazil, supported by his team of Michael Mullarkey and Darren Cann.
The hosts will be represented in the middle by 39 year-old Sandro Ricci, who has been a FIFA-registered referee since 2011.