German match cancelled after ref suicide attempt

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German match cancelled after ref suicide attempt

Post by Fernando on Sat 19 Nov 2011, 8:06 pm

Saturday's Bundesliga game between Cologne and Mainz was called off after the referee was found injured following what police called an apparent suicide attempt.

Babak Rafati was found in his hotel room Saturday morning "after sustaining injuries with no sign of any involvement by a third party," Cologne police spokesman Andre Fassbender told The Associated Press.

"It certainly looks like (a suicide attempt), yes."

Details on Rafati's condition were not immediately available. Cologne said it was told less than two hours before the game that Rafati was unavailable, and that a replacement referee could not be found at such short notice.

"Between 2 and 2:15pm we got the message that the referee was in an accident," Cologne sporting director Volker Finke said. "It's appropriate and correct that the game can't take place."

Mainz says the German Football League (DFL) canceled the game after consulting both clubs.

A new date had yet to be set for the game.

As a Fifa referee, Rafati had officiated Bundesliga games for six years and, with 84 matches under his belt, is an experienced German league referee.

The reason behind his attempted suicide is unknown, but comes just two years after Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke took his own life on November 10 2009 having battled with depression for years.

I hope he gets better soon and deals with what issues he has.



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