Martin Hansen, the Swedish referee who failed to spot Thierry Henry's handball in the World Cup playoff between France and Ireland, says the incident made him consider quitting.
In Tuesday's edition of regional Swedish newspaper Sydostran, he said the criticism made him wonder whether it was worth continuing his eight-year career as an international referee.
“I thought: is the job really worth all this degradation that I have to hear? Maybe this is not my thing,” said Hansson, adding that even his parents had been hounded by journalists wanting to photograph their house.
The 38-year-old, who began his professional career as a referee in 1992, said he wasn't to blame and nor were his linesmen as all their views of the incident were obstructed. “I realise that it was not my fault. It was an unfortunate event that had big consequences for Ireland, but it wasn't the fault of the refereeing team,” Hansson said. He is due to return to refereeing in the Champions League on December 8 or 9.