Hector Vergara, Canada’s best-known soccer official, has announced that he will retire from his position as a FIFA Assistant Referee on 12 November 2011, after he works a final international match.
“This is an expected retirement as FIFA officials must retire at the age of 45, which will become reality in December 2011. On 11 November 2011, kind of an interesting date (11-11-11), will be my last international match as a FIFA official. I have had a wonderful 19 years on the FIFA list, which has provided me with the opportunity to see the world, experience fantastic sporting events, meet amazing people, make tons of friends, enjoy the “beautiful game” as a referee on the field amongst the world’s best players and teams, as well as be a spectator in awe at what was in front of me. Soccer has allowed me to be involved in 11 FIFA competitions (three of those FIFA World Cups and 14 FIFA World Cup games, Semis and Finals in many of them), Six Gold Cups (three of them in the Finals), Olympic Games and nearly 150 international matches involving Clubs and Nationals Teams playing at the highest competitions in the world.
Of course, like anything in life, I have had some negative experiences and have come across a few individuals, funny enough mainly in Canada , who have tried to prevent my success either for political and personal gain or jealousy. But I am not going to focus on that part, they don’t deserve the attention! Maybe some day in a book we can expose their conduct.
Instead, I want this to be an opportunity to express my gratitude to those that have supported me along the way. It will be impossible to thank so many people that have positively influenced my participation in this great game. However, I will make a note of some who to some degree stand out for specific reasons.
There are many referees in Canada that I have had the pleasure of meeting and working in different games with and every one of them brought something to my experience. However, there is one person in particular that I want to express my thanks to for his contributions to making me better. Mauricio Navarro is the best referee Canada has had for a number of years and we have officiated many important international matches together. He has always been a great friend, who has provided tremendous support and encouragement throughout his years on the FIFA list.