Former MLS and FIFA referee Esse Baharmast has set up a fundraiser to support Ukrainian soccer officials amid the country’s war with Russia.
Kateryna Monzul – former FIFA Women’s World Cup Final referee – will facilitate distribution of the funds raised to fellow Ukrainian referees in need of help.
“Our Ukraine referee family needs support during this very difficult time,” Baharmast explained on his #DoAGame4Ukraine Go Fund Me page. “Many are currently navigating refugee status, while still others are in Ukraine working to keep themselves and their families safe.
“Kateryna along with a number of family members are displaced from their home in Kharkiv and currently staying in Italy with few possessions.
“A big thanks to the referee family for your support.”
Baharmast took charge of the inaugural MLS game between San Jose Clash and D.C. United in 1996, and refereed in domestic and international tournaments. Earlier this year he was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.