Vinnie Mauro

Discussion in 'Referee' started by MassachusettsRef, Jun 15, 2024.

  1. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Vinnie Mauro, 1990 WC American referee, has passed away in Italy.

    He was a beautiful man, who I only got to know tangentially in a personal manner (he did run my line once, though!).

    But I’ve got to know many, many people who were close to him. And they all loved him. And they all had stories about him. And they all spoke highly of his ability and character. We endlessly discuss the merits of referee ability and performance but often forget all these people are human. And Vinnie was a great human who made it to the pinnacle of our sport. He was, in 1990, almost inexplicably on Argentina-Cameroon, Netherlands-West Germany, and England-Cameroon. The man had a front row seat in 3 weeks to the type of soccer history that 99.999% of referees could only dream about. And he did it while being a good person who made countless friends.
     
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  2. allan_park

    allan_park Member

    May 15, 2000
    Couldn't agree more!

    Very sad news.
     
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  3. SouthRef

    SouthRef Member+

    Arsenal
    Jun 10, 2006
    USA
    Club:
    Rangers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If people will allow me a Vinnie Mauro story...

    Around 25 years ago I traveled to referee in an out of state tournament and arrived late the evening before the first game. As all referees were in the same hotel and the check-in room was closed, late arrivals were instructed to go to the assignor's room to confirm arrival and pick up our schedule.

    I checked in to my room and went down to the assignor's room, or at least the room I thought was the assignor's room. I knocked and Vinnie answered the door; shorts and t-shirt, beer in hand.

    He didn't hesitate - "come in come in come in! Please sit down! Want a beer? Water? Anything I can get you?" I kind of muttered and said I was looking for the tournament assignor "oh you want room so and so". I politely left as fast as possible, found the assignor, checked in and got my assignments.

    Funny enough, I was assigned to run a line for him on Sunday at 8 AM and I still remember that game. I mean, it wasn't Argentina - Cameroon or Germany - Netherlands but he was all in on it. I think it was a U19 youth game with the predictable complaints which is actually pretty funny.

    The thing I remember the most about it was that in 90 minutes he only needed to look to me once for a call (an offside decision on a 40 yard clearance). every other decision he had before I did, because he was just that on top of it.

    That night we wound up sitting together at dinner and he was unbelievably good at putting everyone at the table at ease; we talked about soccer, about his experiences, about our experiences in refereeing and playing. He was on a different plane when it came his work but it didn't matter at all. I didn't know him beyond this encounter but it certainly seemed like he wanted to hear everyone's experiences and truly loved relating to people who enjoyed what he enjoyed.

    That combination is far too rare and I'm glad I had the chance to meet him.
     
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  4. SouthRef

    SouthRef Member+

    Arsenal
    Jun 10, 2006
    USA
    Club:
    Rangers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    https://www.frontrowsoccer.com/2024...-of-officiating-in-the-world-cup-passes-away/


    "A week after returning as a referee’s assistant at the Copa America final between Brazil and Uruguay before 180,000 fans at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro in July 1989, Mauro officiated at the Long Island Junior Soccer League select tournament. He had driven from his Arlington, Mass. home to watch his son, Joseph, play. 'I always bring my uniform,” Mauro said. “You never know when there is a shortage of referees or when they don’t show up.' "
     
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  5. MassachusettsRef

    MassachusettsRef Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 30, 2001
    Washington, DC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There was always a legend that the first match he did either right before WC90 or right after was a local U10 match. Perhaps this story above is the genesis of that. Or perhaps that story is true, too.
     
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  6. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Mar 24, 2005
    Beaverton OR
    I heard him claim that, after WC 90, he stayed in Italy for a little while and refereed a men's league game, or the equivalent thereof. The players thought that he was just a stupid American, even if he had a white badge, and were making comments to each other to that effect amongst themselves. When he had heard enough of that, he said to them, in the Neopolitan dialect, "Why should we Italians be talking to each other like this?" They had no idea that he spoke Italian and had understood what they were saying, much less that he came from Napes. The chirping stopped.
     
  7. msilverstein47

    msilverstein47 Member+

    Jan 11, 1999
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Vinnie was just a great soul...when I got married in 1997 I wanted to try to referee a match while in Christchurch New Zealand. He not only got me the necessary USSF clearance but he also made some phone calls in order to assign me to the proper match. Blessed be his memory.
     
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  8. weka

    weka Member+

    Dec 9, 2011
    That's really cool. A nice gesture from what I've read, a revered man.
     
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  9. soccerref69420

    soccerref69420 Member+

    President of the Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz fan cub
    Mar 14, 2020
    Nat'l Team:
    Korea DPR
    Never heard of the guy before, but it’s always nice to hear good human stories about referees in the sea of negativity towards officials. RIP Mr. Mauro, thank you for your service
     
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  10. msilverstein47

    msilverstein47 Member+

    Jan 11, 1999
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    essentially, Vinnie was all about YOU and hardly much about him...sadly, a rare type of human-being these days.
     
  11. msilverstein47

    msilverstein47 Member+

    Jan 11, 1999
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    forgot to add, the referee crew picked me up at my B&B and then drove me 30 minutes to the game and then when I got out on the pitch I realized that I had a FIFA AR assigned to work my match...just how cool was that???
     
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