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Referee Assignments for First 32 World Cup Matches to be Announced on May 24

CHICAGO (Thursday, May 23, 2002) - The referee assignments for the first 32 games of the 2002 FIFA World Cup will be announced on Friday (May 24) following the FIFA Referee's Committee meeting. The officials for the final 16 first round games will be announced at a later date. Friday’s referee meeting is expected to conclude by 1:00 p.m. local time (midnight ET).

Seventy-two officials (36 referees, 36 assistant referees) were selected to referee at the 2002 World Cup, and not more than one referee was selected from any one national association.  The 72 match officials selected for the World Cup were chosen based on their performance ratings over the past few years.

U.S. referee Brian Hall, who is the first U.S.-born official ever selected to referee the world’s greatest sporting event, is scheduled to referee a first-round match in Japan.  Hall, a Major League Soccer referee since the league’s inception in 1996, reached the pinnacle of world officiating in 1992, when, at the age of 31, he was named to U.S. Soccer’s International Panel of FIFA Referees.  As a FIFA referee, Hall has traveled to 27 different countries to apply his trade.


Following the announcement of assignments for the first 32 matches at the World Cup, the 72 referees will be available to speak with media in Seoul on Sunday (May 26).  More specific information about media availability will become available on Friday, following the announcement of referee assignments. Updated media information can be found on in the “media-only” section of

During his time at the World Cup, Brian Hall will be periodically commenting on the World Cup and his experiences at the world's largest sporting event as a part of U.S. Soccer’s “Breaking Down the Cup” at Visit’s “World Cup Plus” for complete, up-to-date information, analysis, articles and more from Korea/Japan.