After a storied 25-year career as a respected FIFA and Canada Soccer Assistant Referee, Niagara native Joe Fletcher will no longer be visible on the touchline. […]
After a storied 25-year career as a respected FIFA and Canada Soccer Assistant Referee, Niagara native Joe Fletcher will no longer be visible on the touchline. Fletcher received his National Badge in 2005 and joined the FIFA List of Assistant Referees in 2007. He was the recipient of the Ray Morgan Memorial Award in 2012 and received the Canada Soccer International Achievement Award in 2015.
Fletcher successfully completed appointments to the 2014 and 2018 editions of the FIFA World Cup™, the 2011 and 2013 Concacaf Gold Cups, the 2008 and 2017 Concacaf Champions League Finals, the FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011, the 2012 Olympic Games, the FIFA Club World Cup 2013, the 2016 Copa America, the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, the 2011, 2015 and 2018 Canadian Championship Finals, the 2014 and 2016 MLS Cup Finals plus countless professional matches.
“Joe Fletcher has been a leading figure amongst Canada Soccer referees for more than a decade, successfully, and flawlessly accepting appointments each time he’s called on every continent,” said Canada Soccer’s Manager, Referees Isaac Raymond. “After 25 years, we’re proud to work with Joe as he transitions into a mentorship role, bringing his thirst for knowledge and drive to developing the next generation of Canadian referees.”
Fletcher, for his part, is most proud of his standing amongst the group of men and women who carry the whistle. “For me, the respect of my fellow officials is the single thing I hold most dearly,” Fletcher said. “Referees have told me that they wanted me on their biggest and most important assignments, and there is no greater compliment than that for an assistant referee.”
As for next steps, Fletcher has no plans to walk away from the game and is scheduled to participate in Canada Soccer’s National Referee Camp in Bradenton, Florida in February as an instructor. “If I can help guide the next generation to improve, show them the work that is required, and one day see others at future Men’s & Women’s World Cups, that will be rewarding.”
Canada Soccer outlines return to soccer guidelines. The return to soccer guidelines provide member organizations with a five-step process, including a checklist of weighted questions known as the Return to Soccer Assessment Tool.