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U.S. Soccer Referee Kevin Stott to Compete for Spot at FIFA World Cup Germany 2006

Stott One of 46 Officials Selected to Compete for Referee Position in Germany;
Selected Officials to Attend Workshop in Frankfurt, Germany for Training and Testing

CHICAGO (January 15, 2005)—U.S. Soccer referee Kevin Stott has been honored by FIFA as one of 46 international referees selected to compete for one of the 30 referee positions at the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006. Stott will travel to Frankfurt, Germany, to attend a workshop where they will undergo medical testing, participate in practice sessions and train for a fitness test.

“It’s an honor to be considered,” said the 37-year-old Stott. “The people that have come before me have really opened the doors. People like Esse Baharmast and Brian Hall, who did very good in the last two World Cups, those people have opened the doors and made this possible.”

Stott has been a U.S. Soccer referee since he was 16 years old, and has belonged to the FIFA International Panel of Referees for 11 years. He was selected by FIFA to form the group of potential World Cup referees based on his performance in regional World Cup Qualifying matches, as well as in previous international tournaments.

In 2004, Stott was the primary official in six CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying matches and was the fourth official in two. He also refereed 25 professional games in the United States during that time, including Major League Soccer games, international professional club games played in the U.S. such as Champions World, and international friendlies.

Should Stott participate in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, he would immediately follow in the footsteps of Hall, who represented the U.S. at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, and Baharmast, who officiated at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.

“It’s an honor to continue in the same tradition and build on the accomplishments of previous referees that have brought us to this point,” said Baharmast, who is currently U.S. Soccer’s Director of Advanced and International Referee Development. “Hopefully, the strong representation by U.S. Soccer referees at international tournaments such as the World Cup will take our program another step forward.”

According to Baharmast, who also serves as a FIFA Referee Instructor and Assessor, Stott will travel to Germany for a FIFA workshop from February 12-16. He will also undergo medical tests, attend practical training sessions on the field, as well as theoretical sessions in a classroom. Stott will also undergo a mandatory physical fitness test, which is the same one required by U.S. Soccer to obtain a national referee badge.

 “This gives me the encouragement to continue doing the training that I’m doing right now to be in the physical shape I need to be in next month,” said Stott, who follows an intensive fitness program sent out by FIFA in order to stay in shape. “I realize that there is a long road ahead and I still have a lot to do and to prove in the next 18 months.”

That is because FIFA will be observing Stott closely during the final CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying round in 2005, as well as at other FIFA tournaments and international friendlies. FIFA will make the final decision about who will officiate at the World Cup sometime in early 2006.

“This is the top of the mountain, so to speak,” Stott said. “As a referee, you’re always trying to climb to get there and it takes a long time, a lot of hard work and a lot of support; U.S. Soccer has been great with the mentoring program.”

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