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Making the National list

By Staff, 12/19/17, 11:15AM EST


Fabrizio Stasolla of Scarborough speaks about what it means to make the National List

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

The list of match officials selected for the National list is now out and this year there is a new Ontario official joining the ranks. 

Fabrizio Stasolla of Scarborough is a graduate of the Advanced Referee Training Program and was assigned to many important matches over the past few seasons. 

Stasolla also gives back to the community in a huge way, and has been a strong supporter of Ontario Soccer and the LTOD program.  Stasolla mentored officials at the 2017 NAIG Games and many other provincial events and he recently spoke about what it means to make the National list. 

The news was just announced and you are now a Referee on the Canada Soccer National List. Can you sum up how you feel at this moment?

To be honest I am still quite stunned! It is quite an amazing feeling to know that all my hard work over the years and especially in this nomination year, has finally paid off. I don’t think it will really hit me until I get to camp in February.

The pathway to the National Program is often a difficult and demanding one. Can you tell us how your pathway developed?

My pathway started as a very young official in Scarborough. When I first started, I still had dreams of being a pro soccer player and honestly refereeing was just to make money.

I was 12 years old when I first started and it wasn’t until I was 18 that I realized that there could be a future in refereeing. I started doing some college games and it was then that I was recognized and I started to attend higher education courses and applied to the Regional Upgrading Program (RUG) program.

Once completing the RUG program, I continued to go through the other upgrading programs (Provincial Upgrading and Advanced Referee Training program).

Each program was unique in regards to people who I have met along the way and what I have learned.

With upgrading, I have been exposed to different leagues and levels that has helped me progress to the referee I am today. Each program is beneficial to the pathway of an official as it develops you and prepares you for games at the top level.

Many top officials have received support in their career. Who did you receive the support from, and how important was it to you as you advanced?

Support systems are always a big key to people’s success.

If I was to start listing everyone and how they have helped me it wouldn’t be fair because I know for sure I would miss someone. 

But the support I received was important as it gave me the opportunity to grow to get me to where I am today.

There are countless hours put into getting to the next level, and a lot of sacrifices were made. I can say that I am really lucky to have the friends I have, who are still my friends after missing some special life events.

There are times when you feel down because you had a bad game, or two or three, but when I picked up the phone and called my “support team”, they really knew how to get me going again.

I can comfortably say that I have received support from many different angles from lifelong friends, family and referee friends. I will always remember everything my support team has done for me and I will continue to thank them as my journey is yet to be over. 

As a young Ontario official on the National List, what advice would you give to younger male officials who are going to want to be just like you?

Officiating at the top level is not just about how you performed in that one game, rather it is an all round image of many years of hard work.

When you think people are not looking, think again. You might think that your hard work is not noticed or appreciated, but it is.

Always stay positive and do what you can to improve yourself as an all round official and do the best you can at each game you are assigned. 

In closing, is there anything else you would like to add?

I am thankful to receive this prestigious opportunity as it is a privilege to be on the National List of Officials. I will continue to work hard to succeed as the journey still continues in my referee career.