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U.S. Referee Assignments Finalized for 2006 FIFA World Cup



Stott, Barkey & Strickland to Travel to Germany as
One of Five Support & Development Crews;
Baharmast to Serve as One of Two Instructors;
Mauro to Serve as One of 11 Assessors

CHICAGO (May 31, 2006) – Five current and former U.S. Soccer Referees will participate as game officials, instructors and assessors at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. U.S. Soccer and FIFA referee Kevin Stott, along with assistant referees Greg Barkey and Chris Strickland, will form part of FIFA’s Support and Development Group while former U.S. Soccer and FIFA referees Esse Baharmast and Vincent Mauro will be an instructor and an assessor at the tournament, respectively.

The FIFA Support and Development Group consists of five referees who will participate alongside the 23 selected World Cup officials and their assistant referees in all the training sessions and practical field sessions. They will be called upon to officiate games if a match official is unable to participate for any reason, such as due to injury or illness.

“It will be an absolute honor for us to have, not one, but five members of the U.S. Soccer referee program (three referees, one assessor and one instructor) present at the World Cup and involved in every aspect of it,” said Baharmast. “For FIFA to have chosen us to be a part of this, from refereeing to instructing to assessing, is wonderful and testament to our referee program in the United States.”

Stott, Barkey and Strickland arrived in Germany on May 26 and reported to Frankfurt, where the entire contingent of World Cup referees will be based throughout the tournament. That contingent includes Baharmast, who will teach a theoretical course and conduct practical on-field training sessions.

Baharmast is in Germany as one of just two FIFA people filling the critical role of referee instructor at the tournament. He gained worldwide fame during the 1998 FIFA World Cup when the penalty kick he called in the 89th minute of Norway’s 2-1 victory over Brazil was proven to be correct. After the match, Baharmast was criticized when television replays appeared to show no contact between Brazil’s Junior Baiano and Norway’s Tore Andre Flo. However, independent film crews and photographer’s pictures proved that Baiano had firmly pulled Flo backwards as he awaited a cross in the penalty area.

Stott has been a member of the FIFA International Panel of Referees since 1995. Throughout 2004 and 2005, Stott, Barkey and Strickland officiated matches throughout the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF region, as well as the 2005 Under-17 FIFA World Championship in Peru and the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States. At the Under-17 tournament, Stott and crew were selected to the high-profile Group D match between Brazil and the Netherlands. Stott was later selected to be the fourth official in the third place match between the Netherlands and Turkey.

Mauro, who represented the U.S. as a referee in the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, will also be stationed in Frankfurt, traveling as necessary to assess referees’ performances at matches. He is one of 11 assessors at the tournament, and the only one selected from CONCACAF.

In a surprising announcement back on April 3, FIFA slashed the total number of referees to be utilized in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The 23 total referee crews come from 21 different countries and is a reduction of more than 35 percent from the 36 and 34 referees assigned to the 2002 and 1998 tournaments in Korea/Japan and France, respectively. The drastic reduction in overall numbers means a number of top referees were not selected for the World Cup in Germany. This is the first World Cup to utilize referee crews that are made up of officials entirely from the same country or region.

U.S. Soccer Referee Information

KEVIN STOTT
FIFA: Member of the FIFA International Panel of Referees since 1995…2005: Refereed matches at the Under-17 FIFA World Championship in Peru, including as a fourth official in the third place game…Officiated at the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the CONCACAF Champions Cup Championship…Was the center referee in several matches during the 2006 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying Tournament…2003: Was a center referee during qualifying tournament for the 2004 Athens Olympics…2001: Officiated at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina…2000: Participated as a referee in the regional qualifying tournament for the 2000 Sydney Olympics…1999: Officiated at the CONCACAF Under-17 qualifying tournament in San Salvador, El Salvador…1998: Participated as a referee and assistant referee at the 26th Festival International de Football “Espoir” in Toulon, France…1996: Was the center referee at the inaugural MLS All-Star game…


GREGORY BARKEY
FIFA: Member of the FIFA International Panel of Assistant Referees since 1995…2005: Participated as an assistant referee during the Under-17 FIFA World Championship in Peru…Was an assistant referee at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States…1997: Participated as an assistant referee during the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF region…1996: Was an assistant referee at the inaugural MLS All-Star game…


CHRIS STRICKLAND
FIFA: Member of the FIFA International Panel of Assistant Referees since 2002…2005: Participated as an assistant referee during the Under-17 FIFA World Championship in Peru…Was an assistant referee at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States…2004: Represented the United States as an assistant referee at the 2004 Athens Olympics…Was an assistant referee during CONCACAF’s 2004 Olympic qualifying tournament…2003: Was an assistant referee at the CONCACAF Gold Cup held in the United States and Mexico as well as at the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates…Also participated as an assistant referee at the Under-23 International Tournament in Qatar…


ESSE BAHARMAST
FIFA: Currently serves as a FIFA referee instructor…He was a member of the FIFA International Panel of Referees from 1993 until 1998…Also serves as U.S. Soccer’s Director of Advanced and International Referee Development…2004: Was one of the instructors at FIFA’s Futuro III Development Initiative…1998: Became the first U.S. referee to whistle two World Cup games at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France…Officiated at the CONCACAF Gold Cup as well as the MLS All-Star Game…1997: Was honored with the first-ever MLS Referee of the Year Award…Participated as a referee during several FIFA 1998 World Cup qualifying matches throughout Asia and South America…Was the center referee during the semifinal match of the CONCACAF Club Championship…1996: Became the only referee to whistle three championships in one year, officiating in the MLS Cup, the A-League Championship and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final…1995: Participated as a referee in the Pan-American Games in Argentina and well as in the CONCACAF Club Championship…1993: Officiated in the World University games in Buffalo, N.Y….Pre-1993: Officiated in the American Professional Soccer League, the Continental Indoor Soccer League, the National Professional Soccer League, the Major Indoor Soccer League, the American Soccer League and the American Indoor Soccer Association…


VINCENT MAURO
FIFA: A referee assessor since 1995 and member of FIFA International Panel of Referees from 1985 to 2001…2005: Assessed officials at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany, as well as the FIFA Clubs Championship in Japan…2003: Participated as a referee assessor at the FIFA World Youth Championship in the United Arab Emirates, as well as the FIFA Under-17 World Championship in Finland…2001: Was a referee assessor at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Argentina…1995: Participated as a referee assessor at the Pan-American Games in Argentina…1990: Was a referee at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy…1989: Participated as a referee in the Asian World Cup Qualifying Tournament in Singapore…Also officiated at the Asian Cup in Qatar...Officiated matches at the Copa America in Brazil…1987: Participated at the FIFA World Youth Championship in Chile as a referee…

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