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Winnipegger to be inducted into soccer hall of fame

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Héctor Vergara is headed to the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.

The Winnipeg resident and current executive director of the Manitoba Soccer Association will be formally welcomed into the hall later this year, the Manitoba Soccer Association said this morning.

Vergara, a former FIFA official, will be inducted into the builders category at a reception on Nov. 9 in Vaughan, Ont.

Here’s the statement on Vergara from the CSHOF:

"Héctor Vergara played soccer competitively for 10 years and recreationally for 30 years before returning his focus on the game to officiating. Vergara began as an official in 1983 and was rewarded for his efforts by being an assistant referee at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan, the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. In addition he was an assist referee at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

"Héctor spent 19 years on the FIFA referee's list and was involved in 11 FIFA competitions. He claimed the record for the most World Cup games as a referee/assistant referee with 14 when he took the field July 10, 2010."

Said Vergara in an MSA release: "I am in shock. I never thought about this at all and now that it has happened I don’t know what to say. My philosophy has always been to give my very best in a professional manner no matter whether it is working for the MSA, refereeing a match, assessing others or instructing at any level without the expectation of any recognition of this nature."

The CSHOF class of 2014 includes Vergara, five other individuals, two soccer organizations and one team of distinction.

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