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World Cup referees get put through their paces to show they are fit

While players from across the globe try to find an extra yard of pace or refine their touch ahead of Thursday's World Cup opener, the officials have been making sure they are fighting fit.

Put through their paces inside Lokomotiv Moscow's RVB Arena, the officials who will take charge at this summer's tournamentundertook a rigorous session on Tuesday morning.

Fitness levels were put to the test and reaction speeds were also monitored ahead of linesman duty over the next month.  
Referees had their fitness levels tested during a training session in Moscow on Tuesday
Polish referee Szymon Marciniak (centre) was all smiles as the referees trained in the sun
Argentinian referee Nestor Pitana told his colleagues to focus as they refined their approach

Wearing red shirts and black shorts, the referees were photographed in good spirits despite the inevitable anger that will be thrown their way over the coming weeks. 

While having to be fit enough to keep up with play, referees will also have the aid of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for the tournament's entirety as it continues to be tested ahead of eventually being rolled out universally. 

When deciding the list of officials for this summer's tournament, governing body FIFA opted against including a British referee.

The list of 36 referees and 63 assistant referees published confirmed officials from 46 countries but none from England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

The tournament begins on June 14 when hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia inside the Luzhniki stadium - which will later go on to host the final one month later.  
Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will be available to help referees throughout the tournament

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