Referee Martin Hansson bio

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Martin and Tierry


Martin Hansson started refereeing when he was 15 with his own club and earned his FIFA badge just before his 30th birthday. Steadily he moved up from UEFA Cup qualifiers to Champions League matches, every year a little further up the ladder. The firefighter from Holmsjo officiated the finals of the EURO U21 and the 2008 Confederations Cup.

promotion, demotion
Hansson was a UEFA Elite category referee until the Ireland - France match (see below). He was put back to the premier development category and then again to the first class.

Martin Hansson was selected to officiate at Euro U16 2001 (England), World Cup U17 2003 (Finland), Euro U21 2006 (Portugal) and the World Cup U20 2007 (Canada) and many more, see his palmares.

Martin Hansson missed out on Euro 2008, but he was selected for the 2010 World Cup.
The Swede appeared in the 2009 Confederations Cup final, but in Europe he never gets any further than one stage past the group stage of the Champions League. It would seem there is a difference of opinion between the FIFA and UEFA referee committees about Martin Hansson.

It will follow him till long after his retirement: the double hand ball assist by Thierry Henry in the play-off for the World Cup, lost by Ireland against France because of that goal.
It must have been some sort of a consolation for the Irish to learn that the French didn't get past the first stage in the World Cup and Martin Hansson never got to take charge of a match there.
It also seemed a not very brave kind of compromise by FIFA to select Martin Hansson (they didn't want to keep him out because of one mistake in a row of excellent matches) for the World Cup, but not assign him a match.

You can see Mattias Löw's excellent documentary on Martin Hansson here. It's in Swedish with English subtitles and takes about 30 minutes.

From our reporter: Ray Miller-Short