New Jersey man to referee World Cup match

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A Beachwood, Ocean County man will referee a match in the knockout stage of the World Cup. (WPVI)

A New Jersey man will become the first American to referee a match in the knockout stage of the World Cup.

Mark Geiger, 39, was selected by FIFA to handle the France vs. Nigeria match on Monday in Brazil.

Officials say the former math teacher was chosen after his strong performance as a referee in two games during the group stage of the tournament.

The France vs. Nigeria game airs Monday at 12 noon on our sister station ESPN.

Geiger, a Major League Soccer referee from Beachwood, and his regular assistants, American Sean Hurd and Canadian Joe Fletcher, were announced for the round-of-16 game by FIFA on Saturday.

Geiger also worked Chile's 2-0 win over Spain and Colombia's 3-0 victory against Greece.

American referees at recent World Cups worked only group-stage matches: Vincent Mauro (Belgium-South Korea in 1990), Arturo Angeles (Argentina-Greece in 1994), Esse Baharmast (Spain-Nigeria and Brazil-Norway in 1998) and Brian Hall (Italy-Ecuador and England-Nigeria in 2002).

Geiger follows the U.S. into the second round: The Americans play Belgium in Salvador on Tuesday in the last of the group of 16 matches.

FIFA also picked Sandro Ricci of Brazil to referee Germany vs. Algeria on Monday in Porto Alegre. Ricci was the first World Cup referee to award a goal using goal-line technology, for France in its 3-0 win over Honduras.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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