A referee familiar to those in MLS circles will be part of this weekend's international final.
It was announced on Friday that Mark Geiger has been confirmed as the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup Final, which will take place in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 12 pm ET. The match will be disputed by Spanish giants Real Madrid and Brazilian outfit Gremio.
Geiger, who officiated 15 MLS matches and served as VAR in six more this year, was used in the same role in the final of the 2016 edition of the tournament. He recommended two video reviews during the game.
“Any time you are selected for international competition, it is a huge honor,” said Geiger in a statement. “To represent the federation, the league, yourself, your confederation, it’s truly humbling and exciting. We have now been involved with this project for over a year, and feel confident that we have the high-level training to apply this new skillset to both domestic and international competitions.”
With a professional resume dating back to 2004, Geiger has twice been named MLS Referee of the Year (2011, 2014) and won the CONCACAF Referee of the Year (2014) honor once. He has been a member of officiating crews at the World Cup (2014), CONCACAF Gold Cup (2013, 2015, 2017), Olympic Games (2012), FIFA U-20 World Cup (2011), and Copa América (2016), among other competitions.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which oversees changes to the Laws of the Game, is looking to make determination on including the VAR initiative into the Laws of the Game in 2018, or 2019 at the latest.