World Cup - Sweden's "Hand of Henry" ref Hansson quits

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.

Reuters
World Cup - Sweden's "Hand of Henry" ref Hansson quits
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2009 World Cup play-off Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given argues with referee Martin Hansson

"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 play-off 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.

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