American to referee at World Cup for first time since 2002

Thursday January 16th, 2014

Mark Geiger (Julian Finney/Getty Images) Mark Geiger officiated the fifth-place match of the Club World Cup last month. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Mark Geiger, a 39-year-old high school math teacher from Beachwood, N.J., was selected by FIFA as one of 25 referees for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, according to the Associated Press.

It will be the first time an American will officiate a World Cup since 2002.

Geiger has officiated MLS games since 2004 and also has experience in the Under-20 World Cup and Club World Cup.

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The last American to referee at the World Cup was Brian Hall, who oversaw the Italy-Ecuador and England-Nigeria matches in 2002, according to the AP.

Referees were picked "on their personality and their quality in football understanding by being able to read the game and the teams' tactical approaches towards each game," FIFA said, according to the AP report.
Nine of the 25 officials are from Europe, five from South America, four from Asia, three in the western hemisphere and Africa and one from Oceania.

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