Friday, October 17, 2008

2nd Round Blog from the FIFA Futsal World Cup

U.S. Referee Jason Krnac is representing the United States at the FIFA Futsal World Cup in Brazil. He's blogging about his experience from Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.

Friday, October 10, 2008
It is another rest day in Brazil. I woke early for a morning jog so that I could see the sun rise over the lake. After lunch a group of us decided to take a shuttle to a mall that was in downtown Brasilia. It was much like the other malls we visited except this one had four levels were the others had only two. At the evening classroom session, we met the three referees who worked the first round matches in Rio and they will be joining us here for the second round matches.

Saturday, October 11, 2008
Today, I was assigned to be the timekeeper in the Argentina vs. Paraguay match. It was a good game that ended in a 3-3 draw. In the afternoon, we had a fitness session in the pool where we did more water aerobics and had a water volleyball match. In the evening assignments were handed out along with discussion of the matches that took place today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Today, I was assigned to be the first referee of the Russia vs. Paraguay match. The game was intense as well as difficult and challenging. At halftime, the game was 2-1 in favor of Russia. The second half was even more challenging and difficult as the first half, with the lead changing three times. Russia scored a goal in the last second of the game to win the match. The afternoon fitness took place on a tennis court with a game our trainer called “Burnt”; it was similar to a dodge ball game with only one ball. The evening was free of a debriefing session since tomorrow is a “rest day”.

October 12th in Brazil is a public holiday. Children's Day is celebrated on October 12, which is also the day of Our Lady of Aparecida, a public holiday in Brazil. The celebration brought Thousands of families into the main stretch of the Brasilia, for a variety of activities, performance stages, and vendors. Our hotel also celebrated on Saturday and Sunday with various kid themed activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Monday, October 13, 2008It is another rest day here in Brazil. This will allow teams to travel to different cities so that both group matches are played at the same time. The final group games are played simultaneously in different venues so that neither team has the advantage of knowing the other result before their match kicks off. For the referees, some went on a tour of Brasilia, some went shopping at a local mall, and some stayed at the hotel visiting the pool. Seeing that I already did the city tour and had been to three different shopping centers, I choose to relax by the pool after a morning jog. At the evening debriefing meeting, we talked about the matches from Sunday. The assignments for the final day of the second round were also announced, I will be the timekeeper on the Iran vs. Italy match.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Today, I was assigned to be the timekeeper on the Iran vs. Italy match. The match ended in a 5-5 draw. Upon returning to the hotel, we awaited the announcements of who was going to be going to Rio for the next round and who was heading home. The process was the same as before, individual meeting with the panel of instructors and assessor. I received notice that I that my FIFA Futsal World Cup journey was going to be ending. I am very grateful for this experience to represent US Soccer and CONCACAF at this tournament. I will leave here with many new friends and lessons learned. The entire tournament was a continuous learning experience.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It was a morning to say our last goodbyes and also wish the referees who move forward the best of luck in the next stages of the tournament. I was not leaving until the afternoon, so after finalizing all my packing, I decided to head to the pool for awhile with the Italy Referee. The weather, as it was been most of the time here, was just beautiful - sunny skies, very light breeze. As my time here in Brazil was ending, I had time to reflect on all the new people I met, the experiences both on and off the pitch, the matches that I worked and watched throughout the tournament, and the lasting friendships that began because of the experience I had of attending the FIFA Futsal World Cup. I hope you enjoyed reading my daily experiences. I enjoyed being a representative of U.S. Soccer and CONCACAF. Thank You, Jason Krnac

Getting ready for a match in the locker room
2. Crew for Russia vs. Paraguay match
3. Three Officials (Australian, Malaysian, Hungarian Referees [Left to Right]) wearing and showing off some U.S. Soccer gifts.
4.Crew for Iran vs. Italy match