Milorad Mazic played football like most of the referees before he started officiating. “I had a bad injury”, he told Fifa. “And after that I started and became a referee.” The passion for football is the main thing that drives him, also as a referee. “I love football so much.” Mazic is very happy he could still have a career in football.
First and most important thing in Brazil is to do ‘my very best’, says Mazic. His career went fast after becoming an international referee in only 2009. On 2012 Mazic was on the prospective list of World Cup referees, but he was not an Elite Uefa referee yet. Right before the World Cup Mazic has officiated 8 Champions League and 13 Europa League matches matches. He also got appointed for the u21 European Championships in 2011, the 2013 u20 World Cup and the World Cup play-off between Romania and Greece.
The derby’s of Belgrade
The Serbian competition is not a “big” competition in Europe, but it’s definately one where you have to stand strong as a referee with for example the derby’s in Belgrade. Check out the video of the match between Red Star and Partizan:
Mazic creates Serbian histora
Mazic makes history being the first Serbian referee who’s chosen for a World Cup in almost 25 years. He’ll be assisted by Dalibor Đurđević and Milovan Ristic. The last referee from Serbia who officiated a match on the FIFA World Cup was Zoran Petrovic in in 1986 in Mexico and in Italy in 1990.
Check out an interview from Fifa with Milarad Mazic
The World Cup referees arrived already in Brazil. But where do they stay and where do they have to train?
“As for the teams the referees have to undergo a thorough qualification process”, says Massimo Busacca, Fifa’s head of refereeing. “For us it is the most important to have the strongest line-up and as such we must provide the best facilities for our referees to ensure that their performance will be at their best.”
Referee training ground
During 2014’s Confederations Cup, the referee already used the Centro de Futebol do Zico (CFZ) in Rio de Janeiro. “We are very pleased that Zico is providing us his facilities and also for his support to our team”, Busacca continues. “It is a fantastic infrastructure and the referees are very pleased.”
And Zico told: “Our club is modest but we have a very good structure and there is nothing alike in Rio de Janeiro. I have always had a good relation with the referees as a player and I know the importance of these activities so they can do their job in the best possible way.”
Check out photo’s of the referee training ground from Google Streetview from 2011.
Referee training ground: Centro de Futebol Zico.
Referee training ground: Entrance of Centro de Futebol Zico.
Mark Geiger has been named MLS referee of the year 2014. He was number one for players, clubs and media, MLS announced. Number 2 and 3 were Jair Marrufo and Alan Kelly. Mark Geiger will also referee the 2014 MLS final.
2014 was a great year for Mark Geiger. The best moment maybe is 2:24 am on 15th of January 2014. At that moment an e-mail was sent to Mark Geiger from Uefa Headquarters with the news that he’d be a referee at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. “I woke up to an email and a couple of text messages from friends. An outstanding experience just to wake up and see that email”, Geiger told AP.
Refereeing for pocket money
At the age of 13, Mark Geiger became a football referee. The reason? He needed some pocket money and this was a far better way of getting some extra bucks than the other kids. It took him 15 years from 1988 to become a National Referee in 2003. Since 2014 he has been officiating in Major League Soccer. After 4 years on the higest national level he became a Fifa referee.
After the 2010 World CUp Fifa boss Sepp Blatter announced that he doesn’t want part-time referees anymore. “You can’t have non-professional referees in professional football”, Blatter said. Not everybody changed his career, Björn Kuipers is for example a supermarket owner, but Geiger did. On January 2013, he made refereeing in Major League Soccer his full-time job. “It was It was something I would have to do”, he told on the website of Lacey Township High School, the school he was a math teacher at. “It’s a new opportunity. It’s going to be a new lifestyle. It’s exciting.”
The moment was right for him. “Timingwise, it couldn’t have been more perfect,” he said. “I’ve seen improvements in myself. I don’t have that stress while I’m at the tournament worrying about what my students are doing back home.”
Mark Geiger’s international career
After Geiger became an international referee, he got some big games. During 2011’s u20 World Cup he got 2 group stage matches, a last 16 match and finnaly the final between Brazil in Portugal. His team back then was the same as the assistants he’ll go to Brazil with now: American assistant referee Mark Hurd and Canadian assistant referee Joe Fletcher.
In 2011 he also became MLS referee of the year. In 2012 Geiger went to the London Olympics as referee and in 2013 he got appointed for the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup. Mark Geiger could be come the first American referee who officiates a match beyond the group stage.
“If you don’t do well there, the tournament is done,” Geiger said. “We need to focus on that first game wholeheartedly, make sure we nail that and get it right.”
Want to see more of how Mark Geiger prepares for matches? Check those video’s from Major League Soccer from 2011. He was then a teacher, so he has now more time for refereeing and preparatin, but video’s still worth watching.
Fifa has selected 25 refereeing trio’s for the World Cup.
The names are:
From Europe: Brych, Cakir, Eriksson, Kuipers, Mazic, Proenca, Rizzoli, Carballo and Webb.
From Africa: Doue, Gassama, Haimoudi.
From Oceania: O’Leary
From South-America: Osses, Pitana, Roldan, Ricci, Vera Rodriguez.
From North-America: Aguilar, Geiger, Rodriguez Moreno.
From Africa: Doue, Gassama, Haimoudi.
From Asia: Irmatov, Nishimura, Shukralla and Williams.
Björn Kupers says he is “very proud” to be selected to the World Cup. “For a referee a final tournament is the highest thing you can achieve as a referee. 2013 was a fantastic year. We hoped to take part of the World Cup, but hope is not enough. You need confirmation. Today at 8:22 in the morning I got an e-mail.” More later.