Navarro: Retirement with the world champions


Mauricio Navarro has been the best Canadian male referee of the last 15 years. Chile-born Navarro moved to Canada, started refereeing in 1984 and became a FIFA referee in 2000. One year later, he was invited at the Copa America, in Columbia, where he refereed Uruguay – Bolivia, which he cited as one of the most difficult matches in his career. Having impressed right from his first international matches, Mauricio Navarro was selected for the 2003 Gold Cup in Mexico, although he was only in his third year as a FIFA referee. He displayed excellent qualities and was appointed for the Gold Cup final Mexico – Brazil, which was the pinnacle of his career. Becoming Canada’s top referee, Navarro received continued support from CONCACAF with appointments at several important continental competitions, including the next two Gold Cups, with a quarter-final (Panama – Honduras) in 2007. He also had excellent appearances in the CONCACAF club competitions. After three consecutive semi-finals (DC United – Pumas in 2005, America – Alajuelense in 2006, Pachuca – Houston in 2007), he reached the top in 2008, when he refereed the CONCACAF Champions Cup final Pachuca – Deportivo Saprissa. In the same year, he became the first (and, so far, the only) Canadian referee appointed for the MLS All-Stars match.
Navarro took part in the CONCACAF qualifiers for 4 World Cups (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014), but, unfortunately, never reached the final tournament. FIFA turned their eyes towards him in 2007, when he was appointed for the U-20 World Cup in Canada. Very unlucky, Mauricio injured himself and ended up acting only as a fourth official. Already 41 at that time, he lost his last chance for a possible World Cup. As a consolation, in 2008 he had the pleasure of refereeing two of Argentina’s friendly matches against Mexico and Guatemala. Finally, he had the great honour to be on the field with the current world champions in his last international match, Costa Rica – Spain, on 15 November 2011.

“There are many referees in Canada that I have had the pleasure of meeting and working in different games with and every one of them brought something to my experience. However, there is one person in particular that I want to express my thanks to for his contributions to making me better. Mauricio Navarro is the best referee Canada has had for a number of years and we have officiated many important international matches together. He has always been a great friend, who has provided tremendous support and encouragement throughout his years on the FIFA list”, said Hector Vergara, Canada’s best assistant referee with 14 matches in three different World Cups, recently retired from international refereeing.

International tournaments
2008 CONCACAF Champions Cup Final: Pachuca - Saprissa
2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup – Canada (fourth official)
2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup – USA
2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup – USA
2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final: Mexico - Brazil
2001 CONMEBOL Copa America – Colombia