Bundesliga referee recovering from suicide attempt

I have a say

Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 by YAHOO Sport

BERLIN (AP)—The referee who attempted suicide hours before a Bundesliga game this weekend is recovering well and has been released from the hospital, the German Football Federation (DFB) said Monday.

The DFB said Babak Rafati’s condition has improved and that he has been discharged from the Cologne hospital he was taken to on Saturday.

Rafati’s lawyer told the DFB that the 41-year-old referee would continue with inpatient treatment for an undetermined period of time.

Rafati was found bleeding in his hotel bathtub before he was due to take charge of a game between Cologne and Mainz. The match was called off, and has been rescheduled for Dec. 13.

The DFB said Rafati requested “peace and quiet” and that he “now needs, above all, time and patience.”

Rafati, who refereed the first of his 84 Bundesliga games in 2005, has been a DFB referee since 1997. He is a FIFA referee since 2008, but had not been nominated by the DFB for FIFA duty for next season.

The incident has caused disbelief in Germany, two years after the tragic case of former Hannover and Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke, who suffered from depression and committed suicide by stepping in front of a train on Nov. 10, 2009.

Rafati is a native of Hannover.

“It’s shocking, what has happened,” Hannover coach Mirko Slomka said. “Babak Rafati is well-known by the club and the team.”

German Football League president Reinhard Rauball said he was “deeply shocked, as I’m sure everyone else involved in the Bundesliga is too.”

“If there was one lesson learned from the case of Robert Enke, it was that football isn’t everything in life,” Rauball said.

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