BERLIN (Reuters) – A German referee who tried to kill himself before a Bundesliga game last week said on Friday he was suffering from depression caused mainly by constant fear and media pressure related to his job.
He stayed in hospital for two days and has since entered in-patient treatment.
“Mr Rafati believes it was mainly the growing performance pressure on him as a referee and the accompanying media pressure coupled with a constant fear of making mistakes that was becoming a growing burden,” his lawyer Sven Menke said in a statement on the referee’s behalf.
He said Rafati had been diagnosed with depression in the past days the symptoms for which the 41-year-old said stretched back a year and a half.
“This burden gradually that made even everyday problems appear insolvable,” the lawyer said.
Rafati wanted to be open about his condition and would also like eventually to return to his job and resume refereeing, his lawyer said.
Rafati, a banker of Iranian descent, has refereed 84 Bundesliga matches since making his debut in 2005 in the same match he was due to officiate in on Saturday, Cologne against Mainz 05.
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