Five U.S. Soccer referees selected for Tokyo Olympic Tournaments
CHICAGO — U.S. Soccer Referee Ismail Elfath, Assistant Referees Kyle Atkins and Corey Parker as well as Video Assistant Referees Edvin Jurisevic and Chris Penso have been selected as match officials for the Olympic Football Tournaments Tokyo 2020.
FIFA announced 99 referees from all six confederations for the competitions, with the women kicking off on July 21 and the men on July 22.
The selected officials are five of 32 U.S. Soccer referees that were named to the 2021 FIFA Panel, the world’s highest level of officiating. Selection grants the 32 officials the opportunity to referee at the highest levels of international soccer.
Elfath has been a member of the FIFA Panel since 2016. Named Major League Soccer Referee of the Year in 2020, he refereed his first set of world competitions in 2019 with the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup as well as the Concacaf Gold Cup. At the club level, Elfath officiated last summer’s MLS is Back Tournament Final as well as the MLS Cup in 2013, MLS Conference Finals in 2015 and 2017 and MLS All-Star Games in 2014 and 2015.
Atkins and Parker served alongside Elfath at the 2019 U-20 World Cup, Gold Cup and Club World Cup. Parker has refereed in MLS since 2011 and has been a member of the FIFA Panel since 2015, making his international debut in 2016 at the Copa America Centenario. Atkins, a member of the FIFA Panel since 2018, joined Elfath as an official for last summer’s MLS is Back Final and also ran the sidelines at the Gold Medal Match for the 2018 Central American and Caribbean Games.
After previous experience on the FIFA Panel as referees, this year marks the first year for Jurisevic and Penso as FIFA VARs. Jurisevic has officiated in MLS since 2008 and served as the Video Assistant Referee for the 2019 MLS Cup Final and All-Star Game. Refereeing in MLS since 2011, Penso has officiated a number of MLS Cup Playoff matches and worked the 2015 U.S. Open Cup Final and MLS Cup Final.
Referees from El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico will also represent Concacaf at the Olympics. FIFA selects its best match officials from around the world for FIFA competitions.