GOODBYE, JOHN Former FIFA, NASL referee Di Salvatore passes away
Former FIFA referee John Di Salvatore of Brooklyn, N.Y. passed away on Sunday night.
Di Salvatore was believed to be 94.
He was a FIFA and North American Soccer League referee from 1966 to 1973.
Di Salvatore officiated at least one international game in the metropolitan area -- the United States' 3-3 draw with Israel at the original Yankee Stadium on Sept. 15, 1968. Mordchai Spiegler, who would go on to play for the Cosmos, tallied twice for Israel in that match before a crowd of 10,118. Peter Millar scored twice and Willy Roy, who went on to coach the Chicago Sting, scored for the Americans, who played their first international game in 15 months. Bob Gansler, who went on to coach the USA to its first World Cup in 40 years at Italia 90, played the full 90 minutes for the hosts.
He also was assigning chairman for Eastern New York referees.
A wake will be held at Labella Funeral Home (26-25 Harway Ave., Brooklyn NY 11214; 718 372-4242).
Viewing will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, 2pm to 5pm and 7pm to 930pm
In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of ENY Soccer Associations history with US Soccer there will be news articles posted each week revealing a part of our past.
Read about the original New York teams, our history before US Soccer starting way back in 1886. Past articles will be found under the "History" tab in the "About ENYSSA" section of this website.
How it all started: 1886 - 1900
Soccer had been played in the United States mostly at the amateur, scholastic and collegiate levels since the 1800’s.
Some teams even played as “professionals” and split the money from the gate at certain games. There were numerous teams / clubs and leagues throughout the years but there was no national organizing body to govern the sport.
Whilst in other countries, football was blossoming for both mens and women’s football, the USA was still struggling with the sport and the differences between “rugby” aka “Intercollegiate Rules” or “Handling Code” and “soccer” aka “Association Rules” or “The Dribbling Code”.
Football in the country was primarily made up of teams based upon workplaces, club memberships (such as cricket and various “Orders”), Ships, military, ethnicity, and of course collegiate affiliations. The games were adhoc and came about primarily from teams / clubs advertising in the papers for other teams to play against. Netherless, matches played during this time attracted crowds between 1,000-7,000 people for local games!
In the 1880’s many new developments came about in the Footballing world. International matches were played against Canada, the first matches were played under electric lights, and the first Associations and Leagues were formed.