German Soccer Match Postponed After Referee Attempts to Kill Himself Before Game


A German top-flight soccer match was postponed after the referee tried to kill himself before the game, the BBC reports.

Babak Rafati was reportedly found injured in his hotel room by his assistant referees and is said to be in stable condition in intensive care. Police from Rafati’s native city of Hanover and the German Football Association have reportedly confirmed to Reuters that the referee tried to take his own life.

As a result, the Mainz 05 Bundesliga versus Cologne match, which Rafati was scheduled to officiate on Saturday, has been postponed. Rafati was found about two hours before the match, prompting its cancellation 40 minutes before kickoff.

According to German Football Association president Theo Zwanziger, the assistant referees tried to reach Rafati by phone and then went to his hotel room after he didn’t show up on time, which seemed out of the ordinary.

“It is an extraordinary situation, when one of our top referees makes a suicide attempt,” Zwanziger said. “I have to say, the three assistant referees saved Babak’s life.”

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