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General News

Renowned Greek-American Soccer Referee Angelo Bratsis, 79

BOSTON – Beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, Evangelos ‘Angelo’ Bratsis succumbed to COVID after a long four-month battle in intensive care.

Angelo was born in Vouliarates, Northern Epirus on January 24, 1942. During the great upheaval following WWII when the borders were closed by the communists and many Greek villages were cut off behind the iron curtain, his mother escaped with her three young sons Markos, Angelo, and George and was reunited with her husband on the Greek side of the border.

They immigrated to the United States in 1957. Angelo fell in love with the game of soccer as a young child in Greece and then in the United States – he continued his passion first as a player and then as a soccer referee.

He was a refereeing legend in the United States, and his list of on-field accomplishments knows no equal. He was a member of the FIFA Panel of International Referees for 12 years beginning in 1980 and represented the United States in 13 countries on four continents. Along the way, he refereed more than 130 international matches, including 25 class A matches. He has refereed in no fewer than five professional leagues.

Beyond refereeing excellence, Angelo has been instrumental in building the instructional program for U.S. Soccer and has been on the National Assessor staff for over 30 years, as well as the National Instructional staff for more than 40.

It was in the capacity of Coach and Mentor that Angelo has had an immeasurable effect on adult soccer in this country. He has been appointed Supervisor/Assessor/ Instructor to countless Regional and National Adult tournaments across the country, guiding referees as they seek their own level of excellence. Virtually all referees that pass through the amateur ranks on their way up the ladder are familiar with and grateful for the instruction he has provided.

Additionally, as Chairman of the USASA Referee Committee, he set the highest standards and was unwavering in his support of the adult game.

‘Service before Self’ was his motto and that is how he lived.

He leaves behind his beloved wife, Haido Divris Bratsis; his daughter Angel Bratsis Landy and her husband Michael and grandchildren, Andrea, Nicole and Michael Jr.; his daughter Katherine Bratsis Seremetis and her husband Chris; grandchildren Demetri and Christina; his son Niko Bratsis and his wife Loukia and grandchildren, Haido, Evangelos, and Alexandros. Angelo's brothers were the late Markos, George, and John, and he is also mourned by his sister Elpiniki and many nieces and nephews. Funeral Services were held on May 4th, at St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church, 39 Belgrade Avenue, Roslindale, MA. Burial was at the Gardens Cemetery.

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