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Ontario's newest National List and FIFA list officials receive their badges

By Staff, 02/26/18, 5:15PM EST


Fabrizio Stasolla and Melissa Snedden were presented their badges at the Annual Canada Soccer National Referee Camp

Play. Inspire. Unite.

Canada Soccer recently announced that 17 of its match officials have been selected to the FIFA International Referee List. 

Among the five new additions for 2018 was Oakville's Melissa Snedden. 

Additionally, 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. 

Both were recently presented with their badges and they shared how they have advanced through their careers as match officials. 

Melissa Snedden, FIFA AR

"My career started at the tender age of 12, which at that point was exciting that I could help young kids learn the rules of soccer, and get paid. As time went on, it turned into a passion and it helped me develop numerous skills that aren’t taught in school. 

As a teenager, I was having problems solving in a calm manner while dealing with irate coaches and parents from time to time. Those are the times when you ask yourself “is this really worth it?” 

As I wanted to develop more and more as a referee I encountered some setbacks, which impacted my development. There was a time where, because the setbacks outweighed the opportunities, I considered packing away my whistle and flags. Fortunately, I was convinced otherwise and decided to give it another season.

That next season was critical and I have to credit the numerous people that pushed me during that struggling time because it helped reignite the passion that I once felt. From that moment forward, I knew that encountering hardships was, unfortunately, part of my process but success would feel that much sweeter knowing that I had put in the work to hopefully achieve my end goal."

Fabrizio Stasolla, National Referee

"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."