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American ref to work France-Nigeria

Mark Geiger of the United States will referee France's match against Nigeria on Monday.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Mark Geiger will become the first American to referee a knockout stage match at the World Cup.

The 39-year-old former math teacher was selected by FIFA to handle the France-Nigeria match on Monday in Brasilia.

Geiger, a Major League Soccer referee from Beachwood, New Jersey, 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-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.

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