Paramount examples of that are not merely Mexican referees Benito Archundia, Marco Rodriguez and the Guatemalan Carlos Batres, who joined two World Cups each, but do also exist in deeper history taking into account the final referee of 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy, Mexican official Edgardo Codesal Mendez.
|Edgardo Codesal Mendez (c.) (c) TARINGA|
The US American refereeing have to cope with a sobering statistic: they did not pose any referee at the last two World Cups (except Kevin Stott as fourth official in 2006). Even though the USA had never been the biggest referee nation, it was certainly a reason for more development. The result of that is clear: two Americans are on the short list for 2014 World Cup.
Jair Marrufo, born in 1977, living in El Paso, Texas, and being the son of a former Mexican referee, has already a lot of international experience: After having participated in 2008 Olympic Games, he also received two Gold Cup call-ups, where he handled one match both times.
His regular assistant referee Charles Morgante will moreover not accompany Marrufo at a possible World Cup. Eric Boria from the United States and the Jamaican Ricardo Morgan, who has a large international experience and worked along with Marrufo at 2008 Olympic Games, too, are the new assistant referees.
In addition to this, he was observed by witnesses accepting a jersey of the Mexican player Blanco after the match. Due to his Mexican roots and probably this incident, too, he may not handle any Mexican team again, of course this is a disadvantage. Furthermore, he was suspended by the American federation for poor performances in 2009/10 and was subsequently removed from FIFA's prospective list of referees for 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
His chances hence seem to be the smallest of all the officials, bolstered by the fact that FIFA seems to have taken a fancy to Mark Geiger. Latter had been nominated for 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup and refereed four matches in Colombia including the final between Brazil and Portugal. One could receive split impressions from him, after all, he proved to be a reliable referee. Mark Hurd from the United States and the Canadian Joe Fletcher complete his team, which worked at the U20 World Cup in this form as well. As former top class assistant referee Hector Vergara of Canada, who is holding the record of World Cup matches as assistant referee (14), is now joining FIFA Referee Committee, he might push his countryman Fletcher in a remarkable way.
Geiger and his assistant referees received a call-up for 2012 Olympic Games London and thus get the chance to cement their leading position "against" Marrufo's team.
Born in 1973, he still could reach two World Cups. His chances are difficult to evaluate, in particular due to the immense dents he suffered during the last two years.
Doubts have to be raised whether he will attend 2014 FIFA World Cup, which is intensified by his rising countryman Roberto García, who participated in 2011 FIFA U17 World Cup in his home country. He there officiated five matches, three of them with Brazilian involvement including their loss in the third-place match against Germany. In the first four matches, one could receive a flawless impression of this referee, unfortunately, he blatantly fell for an obvious dive in the last match of the competition. At this competition, he was accompanied by Alejandro Ayala and Marcos Quintero.
His international experience is naturally not that large as his countryman's one. In 2009, he had refereed one match at Gold Cup, before he took control over the 2nd leg of the Mexican league final in April 2012 between Santos Laguna and Monterrey. He will be one of 16 referees at 2012 Olympic Games London.
Besides, he appeared as calm and more likely lenient referee in his only FIFA tournament so far - contrary to Rodriguez.
There is one point which could define or indicate a tendency exposing FIFA's preference between these two Mexicans: the assistant referees.
|Mexico's no.1 (c) Femexfut|
This move must mean something. It seems to be a strong signal for García, but not necessarily one against Rodriguez. As Mexico had two referees at the last World Cups each, why not this time as well? I cannot imagine that FIFA is going to ignore a two times World Cup referee.
For this reason, I undoubtfully expect two Mexican referees.
Taking everything into account, one has again to lay emphasis on the importance of political decisions. It is quite sure that Mexican or American officials will have - in case of doubt - more arguments for a potential nomination. Despite of the fact that pending tournaments like the Olympic Games, the Club World Cups and the youth tournaments will make the so far received impressions clearer, there is already a tendency which can be drawn and which is embodied by the results of the recently done poll in this blog, which is naturally not representative.
The community of this blog would select the following five officials (4+1) for the next World Cup from CONCACAF zone (in chronological order in compliance with the descending amount of received votes, the percentage of all the votes in brackets [ ] ):
1. Joel Aguilar (SLV) - William Torres Mejía (SLV), Juan Francisco Zumba (SLV) [ 88% ]
2. Mark Geiger (USA) - Mark Hurd (USA), Joe Fletcher (CAN) [ 73% ]
3. Roberto García (MEX) - José Camargo (MEX), Alberto Morín (MEX) [ 61% ]
4. Walter Lopez Castellanos (GUA) - Leonel Leal (CRC), Gerson Lopez Castellanos (GUA) [ 50% ]
4. Marco Rodriguez (MEX) - Marvin Torrentera (MEX), Marcos Quintero (MEX) [ 50% ]
6. Roberto Moreno (PAN) - Daniel Williamson (PAN), Keytzel Corrales (NCA) [ 38% ]
7. Jair Marrufo (USA) - Eric Boria (USA), Ricardo Morgan (JAM) [ 19% ]
Finally, this is my choice as well, although I more likely think that there will be a fight between Geiger's and Lopez Castellanos' team for the fourth place as main referee. I finally believe that history has shown that Mexican referees are obviously favourized by the world federation FIFA.