FIFA deny profanity list

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FIFA have denied reports that a list of English profanities has been distributed to World Cup referees in a bid to stamp out dissent.

The Brazilian match officials who will take charge of England's World Cup opener against the United States say they have taken a crash course in English so they can punish players who may verbally abuse them, but FIFA insist it is not something they have had any role to play in.

A FIFA spokeswoman said on Thursday morning: "No such list has been distributed to the referees."

Referee Carlos Simon and his two assistants, Altemir Hausmann and Roberto Braatz, have learned 20 swear words ahead of Saturday's match between the two English-speaking nations at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg.

Assistant referee Hausmann told Brazilian broadcaster Globo Sport: "We have to learn what kind of words the players say. All players swear and we know we will hear a few."

Braatz revealed English was the only language the referees were studying.

"We can't do this in 11 different languages but at least we have to know the swear words in English."

Wayne Rooney has already been warned about his language after South African referee Jeff Selogilwe claimed the striker insulted him during England's final warm-up match against the Platinum Stars on Monday.

Rooney was shown a yellow card for his dissent and after the match Selogilwe warned he could face a harsher sanction for a similar outburst during the finals.

That is set to throw the spotlight on Rooney's behaviour after some USA players admitted they may antagonise the Manchester United striker, who was famously sent off in England's quarter-final defeat to Portugal at the World Cup finals four years ago.

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