The Professional Referee Organization and Major League Soccer remain at the forefront of video review, as today PRO official Mark Geiger was confirmed to be the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup Final, which takes place in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, December 16 at 12 pm ET.
Geiger’s extensive officiating experience features more than 170 career MLS matches, including 15 as a referee and an additional six matches as a VAR this season. At last year’s event during the first-ever implementation of video review in a live FIFA competition, Geiger was trusted to check and analyze the four, key match-changing incidents under the protocol, recommending two video reviews during the match.
“Any time you are selected for international competition, it is a huge honor,” said Geiger. “To represent the federation, the league, yourself, your confederation, it’s truly humbling and exciting. We have now been involved with this project for over a year, and feel confident that we have the high-level training to apply this new skillset to both domestic and international competitions.”
With a professional resume dating back to 2004, the two-time MLS Referee of the Year (2011, 2014) and CONCACAF Referee of the Year (2014), has been a member of officiating crews at the World Cup (2014), CONCACAF Gold Cup (2013, 2015, 2017), Olympic Games (2012), FIFA U-20 World Cup (2011), and COPA America (2016) among other competitions.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which oversees changes to the Laws of the Game, is looking to make determination on including the VAR initiative into the Laws of the Game in 2018 or 2019 at the latest.