The men’s soccer match between Japan and Egypt will be one to remember, Lacey teacher and Olympic referee Mark Geiger said.
“As would be expected, the quarterfinal matches were difficult ones that tested the referees physically and mentally,” he said in an email.
Geiger refereed the game on Saturday morning. Japan beat Egypt 3-0 in front of 70,772 spectators, Geiger said. Some plays are trying because the referees have to make decisions in just a matter of seconds.
“The game was very exciting to be a part of,” he said. “The crowd was very energetic, and working a match in Old Trafford was simply incredible. There was so much history in that stadium.”
The Old Trafford is a soccer stadium in Greater Manchester, England. It is home to the professional team Manchester United and is the 11th largest stadium in Europe.
“This will be a game that I will always remember,” he said.
Following the quarterfinal match, Geiger and the remaining referees returned to London for a debrief session. The referee crews looked at clips from the games to discuss common themes, Geiger said.
“These themes could be different kinds of fouls, misconduct, player management, positioning and movement, or any other situations the instructors feel need to be discussed,” he said.
Geiger will be the fourth official in today’s semifinal match between Brazil and South Korea, he said. The game will be shown on NBC at 2:45 p.m.
The other semifinal game will be between Mexico and Japan at noon. The countries that win those matches will go onto the finals to compete for the gold medal.
“I am very excited to be assigned at this point in the tournament. I am also very happy to be working with the referee team from the Czech Republic,” Geiger said.
After the match, Geiger will return to London with the referee crew for another debrief session and learn the appointments for the two medal games.