Europe news

Henry handball referee quits football

July 5, 2013
By ESPN staff

Swedish referee Martin Hansson, who missed Thierry Henry's controversial handball which sent France to the 2010 World Cup at the expense of the Republic of Ireland, has announced he will quit his job.

Kevin Kilbane, Shay Given, Keith Andrews, Martin Hansson
GettyImagesIrish players protest to Martin Hansson after the hand ball goal in 2009

Hansson failed to reward Ireland a free kick after Henry's double handball in the lead up to France's equalising and decisive goal, in what was his first year as a full-time referee.

The 42-year-old now works with the emergency services in Sweden and worked part-time as a firefighter before taking on a full-time role in 2009.

He says he does not want his career to be determined by the outcome of a football match.

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

"It will be like it was before we were employed full-time, when one had a normal job.

Hansson was heavily criticised following the infamous incident, but gained selection for the World Cup in South Africa.