Five PRO officials selected for FIFA World Cup duty
PRO’s Frank Anderson, Joe Fletcher, Mark Geiger, Jair Marrufo and Corey Rockwell have been announced as part of the team of 99 officials from 46 countries for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Two-time MLS Referee of the Year Geiger — who officiated at the 2014 World Cup with Fletcher — and Marrufo, MLS Referee of the Year in 2008, have officiated nearly 375 MLS games between them and are part of a 36-man referee panel. The US is the only country to supply more than one referee to the list.
Of the 63 Assistant Referees at the tournament, the trio of Anderson, Fletcher and Rockwell have approaching 500 MLS games between them and are experienced FIFA officials, with the latter pair having joined the FIFA panel in 2007 and Anderson following five years later.
The group will now attend a two-week seminar in the second half of April in Italy where the referees will be divided into center officials and candidates for the role of Video Assistant Referees. This will be followed by a final seminar in Moscow, 10 days before the tournament kicks-off.
Read more: Mark Geiger on World Cup Playoffs and the 2017 MLS season
PRO General Manager Howard Webb said: “The Professional Referee Organization is extremely proud that the hard work and dedication of Mark, Jair, Frank, Joe and Corey has been recognized and rewarded.
“To be selected to officiate at a FIFA World Cup is not only a significant moment in the career of any official, but it is an opportunity earned by so few.
“To have five MLS officials selected is a clear indication of the growing reputation of match officials in North America, and is also an endorsement of the work done by PRO in recent years to train and develop the officiating group, supported by MLS, US Soccer and the Canadian Soccer Association.”