The 4th Annual Toronto Azzurri Soccer Club Wall of Fame takes place on Friday, March 27 starting at 6:30 p.m. Our inductees this year include:
- Pioneers / Builders: Alberto DiGiovanni and Pasquale Fioccola
- Players: Frank Riga
- Media: Tony Pavia
- Coaches / Managers: Peter Pinizotto
- Special Recognition: Ralph Ciccia and Joe Mancuso
The inductee’s bio’s will be uploaded over the next couple of days.
The evening starts with the antipasto at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m.
Come join the soccer community in recognizing the contributions of the above people.
Tickets are $125/person and are available through the office at 416-782-1578
Frank Riga has been a soccer leader in the Hamilton and Southern Ontario region as a player, coach, and administrator for the past 55 years. Born in Mondolfo, PU, Italy, Frank immigrated to Canada at the age of 11. In High School, Frank was an all round athlete excelling in soccer, cross country racing, and high school football, where he received All Star honors in 1964.
Frank’s senior career began in 1966, debuting with the triple champion Hamilton Superga of the Ontario Inter City Soccer League (OICSL). In 1970, Frank’s Hamilton Italo Canadians won the Ontario Cup and was named OICSL MVP in 1971, before a successful 6 year stint in the National Soccer League (NSL). His best years were in 1972 with the legendary Fioigi Pagliuso as coach, and in 1974 when Frank was Italo Canadian’s MVP, reinforcing his reputation as an outstanding defender. In 1977, Frank led FF Binbrook, of the Southern Ontario League, to three consecutive league titles. He went on to coach the Saltfleet Women’s team in the Elite Division of the OWSL, winning the League and Spectator Cup. Frank also assisted McMaster women’s team to National Bronze in 1997.
Frank, post playing and coaching, has enjoyed a successful administration role in the Hamilton soccer community. He proudly was a founding member of the 1st Soccer Coaches Assn of Canada, and was the vice president of friend Mario Di Bartolomeo’s Hamilton Steelers. He founded, and chaired the Hamilton Soccer Council, that fought for fairness in media coverage, and improved city soccer facilities. Frank served as Director and Selection Committee Chair of the Hamilton and District Soccer Council, and was honored in 2015 by being inducted into its Hall of fame. Frank is currently organizing a summer trip to Italy for Brock University men and women’s soccer teams.
Alberto was born in Roccamorice(PE) in the region of Abruzzo, Italy. In 1963, he left Italy to join his family in Toronto. He attended the University of Toronto, St. Michael’s college, graduating with Hons B.A. and eventually earning a Masters Degree in Italian Language and Literature in 1973.
Alberto has been a champion of the perserverence and promotion of the Italian culture and language for the Italian community primarily in the GTA geography. He has served as President for many cultural organizations such as the Dante Alighieri Society of Toronto. The Multicultural Theatre Assn. of Ontario and the Metro Communities for International Language. In 1976, Alberto founded the Centro Scuola/Canadian Centre, an institution to promote Italian language through educational and cultural programming with its hub located at the Columbus Center(Lawrence Ave. & Dufferin St.)
In 1983, following Italy’s World Cup Soccer victory in Spain, Alberto gave birth to a Heritage Soccer Tournament involving 32 teams from the GTA. Its success inspired Alberto to create the Centro Scuola Sport Program which included the formation of the C.S. Azzurri SC. Between 1985-2001, the C.S. Azzurri teams won the prestigious Ontario Cup 15 times! In fact, sparked by annual league and cup trophies, C.S. Azzurri suddenly became the most decorated youth Club in Ontario.. Alberto also organized the participation of C.S. Azzurri teams to participate in the ‘Giochi della Gioventu’ international Tournament winning on three occassions. C.S. Azzurri was the first N.A. Club to be invited to the world renown Viareggio and Beppe Viola youth Tournaments in Italy.
Together with the Italian Federazione Gioco Calcio, Alberto started up a Soccer School featuring the legendary Francesco Rocca as the head coach. Alberto is very proud to haave been one of two people outside of Italy to have ever been presented the ‘Stella D’Oro al Merito Italiana’ given by CONI(Commitato Olympico Nazionale Nazionale Italiana).
In 2002, Alberto received the ‘Meritorious Service Award’ for his contributions to the growth of Soccer in Ontario.