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Instrumental Referee Fernando Alvarez Passes Away

Former U.S. Soccer National Assessor, Fernando Gimenez Alvarez has passed away at the age of 90. Alvarez was part of the FIFA International Board of Referees, is credited with creating the “substitution” signal in 1982 and was instrumental in the development of the U.S. Soccer Referee Program.

The Philippine referee received several accolades throughout his career, highlighted by FIFA’s highest honor in 2005 when he received the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit. During his career Alvarez also received the FIFA International Referee Award (1973), the AFC Distinguished Service Award (1984) and the Eddie Pearson Award (1999).

He served as General secretary of the Philippine Football Federation from 1966-1984, was a member of the AFC referee committee from 1966-1988, vice president of the AFC from 1978-1988, a member on the FIFA International Board, member of the Referee's Committee for 12 years and a member of the Technical Committee for 10 years. He also served as Director of the San Francisco Cup and International Youth Festival from 1987 until his death, member of the USSF National Referee Committee, the Director of the USSF International Referee Exchange Program and a member of the California Soccer Association North Hall of Fame.

Alvarez was a FIFA referee from 1959-73 and he officiated 32 international matches.