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Sweden's 'Hand of Henry' ref Hansson quits
July 4, 2013 / 2:27 PM / 4 years ago

Sweden's 'Hand of Henry' ref Hansson quits

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The Swedish referee who missed a Thierry Henry handball before the goal against Ireland that sent France to the World Cup in 2010 is to quit his full-time post.

Referee Martin Hansson of Sweden is seen during a Champions League soccer match between Besiktas and CSKA Moscow at Inonu stadium in Istanbul in this December 8, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

“There is no drama in it,” Martin Hansson told the Kvallsposten newspaper. “I wanted a job with greater security, workmates and not to stand or fall because of football.”

The 42-year-old has been a full-time referee since 2009 and said he would continue on a part-time basis.

Hansson faced severe criticism when he failed to see a handball by France’s Henry in the lead-up to their extra-time equaliser against Ireland. The draw in the World Cup playoff second leg in Paris sent France to the finals in South Africa.

Hansson has officiated in Sweden’s Allsvenskan since 2001 and became one of six full-time referees in 2009. A part-time firefighter even when refereeing, he now has a job with the emergency services.

“It will be like it was before we were employed full-time, when one had a normal job,” Hansson told Kvallsposten.

Reporting by Philip O'Connor in Stockholm; editing by Robert Woodward

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