Winnipegger Héctor Vergara is being inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.
Vergara, a former FIFA official and the current executive director of the Manitoba Soccer Association (MSA), will be formally welcomed into the hall on Nov. 9 in Vaughan, Ont.
He will be inducted in the builder category to recognize his contributions to the beautiful game.
"Hector Vergara played soccer competitively for 10 years and recreationally for 30 years before returning his focus on the game to officiating," the hall of fame stated in its inductee description.
"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.
"Hector 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."
Vergara most recently helped prepare officials for the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
“I am in shock. I never thought about this at all and now that it has happened I don’t know what to say," Vergara is quoted as saying in a news release from the MSA.
"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.
"No matter the accolades I always want to give my best effort. I am grateful to the hall of fame for their consideration. Thank you so much.”
Joining Vergara as 2014 inductees to the hall are five other people, two soccer organizations and one team of distinction.