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Impressive career of a Canadian assistant referee

Héctor Vergara (Canada) is the most experienced World Cup assistant referee with 14 matches in three different World Cups. His last match at a big tournament was last Saturday, when he, Marvin Torrentera and Armando Archundia took charge of the third place final. The Dutch Referee blog spoke with him.

Role: Assistant Referee
Country: Canada
Date of Birth: 15.12.1966
Height: 183 cm
First international: Canada-Northern Ireland (22.05.1995)

At the 2002 World Cup referees and assistants were not working in trio’s who worked together the whole tournament. Vergara worked with Collina, Ramos-Rizzo, Hall (2), Aquina and the third place final with Mane. In 2002 he worked with Archundia, with whom he started his international career in 1993 in the U17 World Cup in Japan. After the 2010 World Cup they finished together, after 18 international years, with a superb match (IMO).

Héctor Vergara (middle) when he received a medal after the third place final at the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Photo provided by Héctor Vergara’s blog

Saturday you officiated in the match between germany and uruguay. It was your 14th match as an assistant referee at a World Cup. A record. What does that mean to you?
Héctor Vergara: “Having this ‘record’, which one day someone will break, is just a reflection of the successful career I had as a Fifa official. all the medals I have received in the 11 tournaments I have been have a special place as they all represent the sacrifices and commitment that I have made.”

You’ve also got the third place final in Korea and Japan with Saad Mane (Kuwait). Didn’t you hope (just a little bit) for the final in at your last big tournament?
“I know that we had a real shot at doing the final of the 2010 WC, but it was not meant to be and there are many factors that played into that decision. I know that we did everything in our power to give us the opportunity but the decision was out of our hands. We stayed very focused and truly enjoyed and had a great 3rd/4th place final.”

After the match Vergara wrote a nice blog about his last match. His experiece of Germany versus Uruguay: “What a game!!!! Lots of goals, lots of action, great atmosphere, rain, tears of joy, fun, pride, excitement and a great performance by our team.” If you didn’t follow his WC blog, please visit the Manitoba Soccer Blog .

How did you experience this world cup and what’s your fondest memory?
“This WC was a bit different for me because there were many things that happened that just did not seemed right – but those things were out of our control so we just moved on. We had very good games, enjoyed them and the challenge and finished on a high note. The fondest memory was the final game because it was a great game and we finished our WC career on a high note.”

Armando Archundia, Héctor Vergara and Marvin Torrentera, visiting the Paraguay – Japan match. Photo provided by Héctor Vergara’s blog

This was your last big tournament. Do you stop international refereeing now or are you giving it all for one more year?
“I don’t know as of yet. It will be a discussion that I have with my family and it will be well thought out.”

What’s the most beautiful match in your career and why?
“I had many but if i had to choose one it may be the last one on saturday – simply because it was such a great game and we worked so well together that it allowed us to go out on top and show the world the quality of our officiating.”

Is there a message you want to give to my blog readers (f.e. about most important things for you in refereeing, on what ever level that may be)?

“For me learning the basics of refereeing and the simple things on and off the field are very critical for a successful career. Working about what you can control and constantly working at improving your game no matter what level you are at is very important.”

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