The referee assignments for the first 32 games of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan will be announced on Friday following the FIFA Referee's Committee meeting in Seoul. The officials for the final 16 first round games will be announced at a later date.
Seventy-two officials, 36 referees and 36 assistant referees, were selected to officiate at the 2002 World Cup. Not more than one referee was selected from any one national association. The 72 match officials selected for the World Cup were chosen based on their performance ratings over the past few years.
American referee Brian Hall, who is the first U.S.-born official ever selected to referee in the World Cup, is scheduled to referee a first-round match in Japan. Hall has been a U.S. Major League Soccer referee since the league's inception in 1996. He reached the pinnacle of world officiating in 1992 when, at the age of 31, he was named to U.S Soccer's International Panel of FIFA Referees.
As a FIFA referee, Hall has traveled to 27 different countries to apply his trade.