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FIFA selects American referee Geiger to work World Cup

MarkGeigerReferee1 (AP)


The United States won’t just be represented at the World Cup by the players on the field.

FIFA released their list of referees for the 2014 World Cup on Wednesday morning and they included American referee Mark Geiger on their 25-man list. The former MLS Referee of the Year became a FIFA listed referee in 2008 and officiated the 2011 FIFA Under-20 World Cup final as well as a number of games at the 2012 Summer Olympic games.

Geiger will be assisted by American Mark Hurd and Canadian Joe Fletcher. FIFA also appointed “support duos” in case of injury, with American Eric Boria included as a World Cup reserve as well.

Also headed to the World Cup from CONCACAF is Marco Antonio Rodriguez of Mexico, and Joel Aguilar of El Salvador. Missing out from the tournament is Koman Coulibaly, who controversially disallowed a goal by U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Maurice Edu during the USA’s 2-2 draw with Slovenia at the 2010 World Cup.

Here’s a full look at the 25 head referees selected for the 2014 World Cup:

2014 World Cup referees: 

AFC: Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan), Yuichi Nishimura (Japan), Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain), Ben Williams (Australia)

CAF: Noumandiez Doue (Ivory Coast), Bakary Gassama (Gambia), Djamel Haimoudi (Algeria)

CONCACAF: Joel Aguilar (El Salvador), Mark Geiger (United States), Marco Rodriguez Moreno (Mexico)

CONMEBOL: Enrique Osses (Chile), Nestor Pitana (Argentina), Wilmar Roldan (Colombia), Sandro Ricci (Brazil), Carlos Vera Rodriguez (Ecuador)

Oceania: Peter O’Leary (New Zealand)

UEFA: Felix Brych (Germany), Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey), Jonas Eriksson (Sweden), Bjorn Kuipers (Netherlands), Milorad Mazic (Serbia), Pedro Proenca (Portugal), Nicola Rizzoli (Italy), Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain), Howard Webb (England)


What do you think of this news? Happy to see an American official selected for the World Cup? Glad that Coulibaly won’t be officiating this time around?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. What’s the over-under on how many penalty kick do-overs Geiger calls for infringement before he gets decked by a player? If he gets the Colombia game, I honestly fear for his safety.

    • Still? How do you mean? You think referees sign contracts to head overseas like players do? Lmao!

      Referees officiate in the federation where they reside. Geiger lives in the US. Therefore, his home federation is USSF. Therefore, he officiates in his federation’s top professional league. Therefore, yes, he is still an MLS referee.

  2. I just want to mention that this guy has made a mockery of many MLS games. I recall specifically the United/Union game 2 seasons ago. Good for him, but is he really the USA’s best ref?

    • People will ALWAYS complain about referees. We never win. EVER!! That’s just the nature of the beast. I would love to see all of you on the pitch. It’s not as easy as it looks. Referees aren’t remembered for the great calls they make — only the poor/difficult ones.

      Believe it or not, accept it or not, he is a VERY VERY competent referee. He has earned his spot. Make no mistake about that.

    • Yes Gorico, he is our best and by a wide margin. I was actually at that DCU match a couple of years ago and sat alongside the USSF Director of Referee Assessment and Geiger passed the assessment on that match. Lot’s to discuss in that particular match, but all in all he did fine.

    • He made one or two small mistakes in a game where the players were already ready to go at each other before the first whistle. The Union had a nasty tendency to thug up games against United before the changeover to Hackworth. To his credit, Hackworth told his team to knock it off and they have.

      He was out there in a volatile situation because he was seen as the best and most capable to handle what was known to be an extremely challenging game beforehand. I think he accidentally got used by the most cynical actors on the Union (again to Hackworth’s credit, those actors are either gone or don’t act that way any more). I do give him credit for getting that game to the full 90 as it had the fingerprints of the kind of game that you lose and have to abandon all over it.

  3. Great for Geiger. Actually, you can’t complain too much about the CONCACAF selections…Geiger, Chiqui (who is a well-respected ref) and Aguilar are all pretty good choices. (Aguilar reffed the snow game, right?)

    Glad that Courtney Campbell and especially Quesada were left home.

  4. Ok, start your bets on the referee who will receive the “Coulibaly Memorial Award” for screwing the US against either Ghana or Portugal. Here’s my shortlist:

    Ravshan Irmatov (Uzbekistan)
    Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)
    Bakary Gassama (Gambia)

    Right now I think Bakary Gassama is in the lead.

  5. Yes, congrats to Mr. Geiger. Well done. Make us proud. I’m already looking forward to the comments from ESPN’s English announcers about how American refs lack the sophistication to officiate at the WC level. And they will be spot on . . . only the most refined refs can make the right call when a player karate kicks another in the chest.

  6. yes, Mr Zip. Among his crimes were red carding two US players in the 2006 WC match vs Italy, disallowing a winning Beasley goal in same the same match, red carding Michael Bradley in the confed cup semi vs Spain, and the infamous Lampard non-goal vs Germany in 2010 WC.

    • CRIME?? straight red to Mastroeni was more than justified, late by a mile on Pirlo and he knew he was never gonna get the ball. Far as Pope is concerned his first card was a shirt pulling yellow professional foul at midfield so Pope may as well have been asking for it as I am sure he was just fine with that yellow, then his tackle from behind leaves very little to debate.

      And correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t Beasley’s goal called back deemed offsides as his shot was obstructed by a forward behind the back line?? I may be wrong and can’t find evidence online…..

      Lets not call for the witches when they do or don’t float too soon…………..

      • Mastroeni’s was not a straight red card, yellow at best. Italians were doing the same stuff and no cards from Larrionda, except when forced to because they split McBride’s head open. Beasley’s disallowed goal was harsh, but yes McBride was offside and possibly obstructing Buffon. All these calls are debatable but the red card vs Bradley is not. It’s not exactly a call for the witches when the guys’ own federation suspended him for irregularities. I never understood how a ref suspended by his own federation could even be eligible to officiate a World Cup.

  7. One day, ONE DAY I’ll be there.

    “FIFA has selected CeezNYRB from New Jersey to officiate in the 2022 FIFA World Cup”

    So…about that schedule change to the winter… *votes in favor* =

  8. Good call, I have always respected Geiger. He’s fit and does a very good job in the middle of the park. Best of luck to him and I hope he has a great tournament and certainly does not return with the kind of ego as did the last American to ref a WC.

    I am bummed that Koulibalie (sp) didn’t get the call again.

    • Nah, Geiger doesn’t do ego. He’s as solid and consistent a referee as you’ll find anywhere in the country. I’ve always considered the best MLS referee in the young history of our league. Very competent. Good luck Mark!

    • Yes. Congratulations Mr. Geiger. Represent well.

      He’s been one of the best refs in MLS, IMO. Pretty good game manager, usually letting the players decide the outcome of games.

      As MLS evolves referees are too. I do think referring has improved over the last couple of years, but the league is still a little too physical.

    • please don’t let my posting name give anyone the belief that I have more interest or knowledge in this area.

      Geiger is not the first american ref to participate in the World Cup.

      One more addition to this list should be Eric Boria, who is basically going to Brazil as an alternate AR.

  9. also missing from the list is the Jorge Larrionda, thank god. There was controversy everywhere he went. He had no business ever officiating in a FIFA competition, not to mention two WC and a Confed Cup. If you want proof of FIFA corruption look no further than him. I am certain his job was to make sure the US and England got nowhere, and how did they know he would take the bait? His own football federation suspended him for “irregularities”


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