FIFA announces officials for Club World Cup in United Arab Emirates
FIFA's Referees Committee has announced the match officials for December's Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, with Germany's Felix Brych the most high-profile European name and the United States' Mark Geiger among those who will run the VAR system.
The Club World Cup kicks off on Dec. 6, with the final at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Dec. 16.
FIFA's six confederations supply the match officials, with 2017 Champions League final referee Brych joined by colleagues from Uzbekistan, Senegal, Mexico, Brazil and New Zealand.
Eight video assistant referees (VARs) have been named -- from the United States, France, Germany, Portugal, Qatar, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina -- to oversee the running of a system that was criticised by Madrid players when it was used at last year's Club World Cup in Japan.
VAR also caused some confusion when it was used at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia in July.
Match officials for the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 appointed https://t.co/VZiwbjQdIo— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) November 7, 2017
In the UAE in December, Champions League holders Real Madrid are aiming to become the first team ever to win the trophy in successive years. CONCACAF champions Pachuca of Mexico, CAF Champions League winners Wydad Casablanca, UAE hosts Al Jazira and Oceania's Auckland City will also take part in the tournament.
Two places are yet to be filled. Gremio of Brazil and Lanus of Argentina meet in the 2017 Copa Libertadores final in late November. The AFC Champions League final between Saudi Arabian team Al-Hilal and Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds also takes place later this month.
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan