The 34 year-old American professional referee Jair Marrufo from El Paso, Texas, has been appointed to oversee the first semifinal of this year's edition of CONCACAF's Olympic Games qualifying tournament. The son of a former Mexican referee will be in charge of El Salvador - Honduras that will be played in Kansas City tonight, while being accompanied by his countryman Eric Boria and the Surinamese Ramon Louisville, who is one of the most experienced CONCACAF assistant referees and has potential chances to reach one of the next FIFA tournaments along with Enrico Wijngaarde. Walter López from Guatemala will function as Fourth Official.
Marrufo, who actually counted as favourite for the final match, after USA did not qualify for the semifinals, was already in control of two Honduran group stage ties against Panama (3-1) and Trinidad & Tobago (2-0). In both matches, he issued 4 yellow cards each.
|Jair Marrufo (USA), prospective referee of FIFA World Cup 2014 (c) CONCACAF|
In addition, CONCACAF has also assigned Jafeth Perea from Panama as the other semifinal referee. The 30 year-old was in charge of USA - Canada (0-2) in the group stage - there, he sent a Canadian player off with a straight red card - and also joined 2011 FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Mexico, where he refereed one match (Congo 1-0 Netherlands).
Perea's assistant referees will be Keytzel Corrales from Nicaragua, one participant of the U17 WC, too, and António Lopez from Puerto Rico, Hugo Cruz Alvarado from Costa Rica completes the team as Fourth Official.
The two winners of both semifinals, the finalists, will join the Olympic Games in London 2012.
At Kansas City, 31 March 2012
El Salvador - Honduras
Referee: Jair Marrufo (USA)
Assistant Referee 1: Eric Boria (USA)
Assistant Referee 2: Ramon Louisville (SUR)
Fourth Official: Walter López (GUA)
Mexico - Canada
Referee: Jafeth Perea (PAN)
Assistant Referee 1: Keytzel Corrales (NCA)
Assistant Referee 2: António Lopez (PUR)
Fourth Official: Hugo Cruz Alvarado (CRC)