Joe Fletcher, Canadian ref, gets World Cup knockout assignment
Will work Monday's France-Nigeria match
Canadian assistant referee Joe Fletcher will work the France versus Nigeria round-of-16 knockout game at the World Cup in Brasilia on Monday.
The 37-year-old chartered accountant from St. Catharines, Ont., works with American referee Mark Geiger and fellow assistant Sean Hurd.
It's the third match at the tournament for the trio after Colombia-Greece and Spain-Chile. Officials deemed to perform well get more work at the World Cup as the competition unfolds.
Their performance has won good reviews so far, including complimentary tweets from MLS players Dax McCarty and Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit.
Geiger, a 39-year-old former math teacher, becomes the first American to referee a knockout stage match at the World Cup.
The Canadian-American trio has already officiated at the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup, the 2012 Olympics and the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, among other tournaments.
Winnipeg assistant referee Hector Vergara worked the 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups. Werner Winsemann was the first Canadian referee at the World Cup, working the 1974 and '78 finals.
Usually, the assistant referee doesn't garner much attention. But Fletcher's image went viral when camera's caught him in a smooth move after a missed handshake before his working of the Spain-Chile Group match.