Injury curse claims refereeing victim

Wed Jun 9, 2010 6:16am EDT
 
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By Kevin Fylan

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The World Cup injury curse that has struck down so many players in the build-up to the tournament has spread to the referees, with Chile's Pablo Pozo Quinteros the latest victim.

The injury to Pozo Quinteros means the whole Chilean trio of match officials will be replaced for their first match, the Group C clash between Algeria and Slovenia on June 13.

Guatemalan referee Carlos Alberto Batres will take over along with his assistants Leonel Leal of Costa Rica and Carlos Pastrana of Honduras.

Portugal winger Nani became the latest in a long list of players forced to pull out of the June 11-July 11 tournament on Tuesday due to a shoulder injury suffered in training.

Other high profile players missing out include Rio Ferdinand, Michael Ballack, John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien, while Didier Drogba, Arjen Robben and Andrea Pirlo are among those on the list of doubtfuls.