By Ronald Blum Published 4:09 pm, Friday, June 15, 2018 MOSCOW — Jair Murrufo remembers the first time he picked up a whistle and called a soccer match. “My father kept saying, ‘Hey, you want to be a referee?’ And I’m 19 years old, and I’m like, ‘No, why would I want to do that?’” he recalled. That was an under-8 contest filled with kids trying to learn the sport. Now the 41-year-old from El Paso, Texas, will be on the field for soccer’s pinnacle: the World Cup. While the United States is missing from soccer’s showcase for the first time since 1986, it is the only nation with two referees working the tournament. Mark Geiger is the second American to referee at two World Cups. The 43-year-old from Beachwood, N.J., worked two matches during the group stage in Brazil four years ago, and then became the first American to officiate a knockout stage match: France’s 2-0 win over Nigeria. “It is an … [Read more...] about No team but 2 referees for US at World Cup in Russia
U 20 world cup
By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer Updated 9:18 am, Friday, June 15, 2018 Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP Image 1of/1 CaptionClose Image 1 of 1 In this May 16, 2018 photo American soccer referees Mark Geiger, left, and Jair Marrufo are interviewed in New York. While the United States is missing from soccer's showcase for the first time since 1986, it is the only nation with two referees working the tournament. Geiger will become the second American to referee at two World Cups. The 43-year-old from Beachwood, New Jersey, worked Chile-Spain and Colombia-Greece during the group stage in Brazil four years ago, then became the first American to work a knockout stage match. Marrufo will be working his first World Cup after getting cut in 2010. less In this May 16, 2018 photo American soccer referees Mark Geiger, left, and Jair Marrufo are interviewed in New York. While the United States is missing from soccer's … [Read more...] about El Paso native 1 of 2 US referees at World Cup
In hosting the World Cup, Putin is hoping to replicate the success of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. Here, the Russian president plays soccer with Infantino. ALEXEI DRUZHININ/TASS/GETTY World Vladimir Putin kept a watchful eye on a black-and-white soccer ball as it soared toward him through a spacious Kremlin office, before he deftly bumped it back with his head. On the other side of the room, Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, waited for the return pass. When it came, he flicked the ball up, juggling it from foot to foot before kicking it back to the Russian president. The two men, both dressed in suits and ties, were taking part in a promotional video for this summer’s World Cup, which Russia will host for the first time.In May, just weeks after the filming of the video, Putin and Infantino met again, this time in Sochi, on Russia’s Black Sea coastline, where they inspected the Fisht Olympic Stadium. The … [Read more...] about World Cup 2018: Will ISIS and Other Enemies Spoil Games for Putin’s Russia?
MOSCOW — The 2018 World Cup has cost Russia billions of dollars to stage and will make FIFA hundreds of millions in profit. Still, the big numbers that are routine for major sports events are unlikely to set World Cup records. Russia's official budget of 678 billion rubles ($11.6 billion) spent on projects for the tournament is less than the estimated $15 billion spent by Brazil on the 2014 World Cup. The budget to meet President Vladimir Putin's pledge to showcase a warmer, more open Russia excludes some transport projects the tournament relies on. It also looks a bargain compared to the $51 billion bill for the 2014 Winter Olympics that extended from Sochi into nearby mountains. FIFA will top $6 billion for the four-year commercial cycle tied to this World Cup, beating its $5.656 billion target. The marquee tournament is overwhelmingly the main source of FIFA income. That target, however, was conservative compared to $5.72 billion of overall income booked by FIFA in the … [Read more...] about World Cup spending, profits set to fall short of record sums
Had the United States qualified for the World Cup, as it had done every four years since 1990, the roster announced Sunday for an upcoming friendly would have been packed with internationally seasoned players preparing for soccer's ultimate test next month in Russia.But because of last fall's failure, the Americans are turning attention to the long term instead of the short term, passing on veterans and introducing a new batch.Along those lines, interim coach Dave Sarachan named a 22-man roster with an average age of just under 23 for the May 28 match against Bolivia at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pa."As I've talked about throughout this process, the theme is to offer opportunity to this younger generation of talented players that have potential down the road with the program," Sarachan said in a written statement. "We've had first-time call-ups in every camp since November, and this is another extension of that."The group includes Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, who play … [Read more...] about Without World Cup, U.S. men’s national team goes young for friendly vs. Bolivia