Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 12:57• Paul Jeursen • Last update: 13:00

French referee Johan Hamel has died suddenly, the French referees association SAFE announced on Wednesday. Hamel was only 42 years old. The sad news has hit the French football world like a bomb. Several clubs have reacted with shock to the death.

According to L’Equipe Hamel suffered a heart attack during a training session. The consequences of this eventually proved fatal. SAFE reported the news on their Twitter account. “The arbitration is in mourning. We have learned of the passing of our colleague and friend, Ligue 1 referee, Johan Hamel, at the age of 42. SAFE and the arbitrators extend their deepest condolences to his family, loved ones and friends. Johan, we will miss you”, it could be read.

On November 6, Hamel refereed the duel between Lille OSC and Stade Rennes (1-1) in Ligue 1. He also assisted the VAR last Sunday in the meeting between Paris Saint-Germain and Auxerre (5-0). The referee has so far whistled eight games in the current Ligue 1 season. In total, he handled the whistle in 136 matches at the highest French level. He also led 86 matches in Ligue 2. Hamel was recently the fourth official in the Champions League match between Real Madrid and Celtic (5-1).

On Sunday, March 6, 2011, in the 26th round of Ligue 1, Hamel made his debut in professional football. At the time, he led the match between Olympique Marseille and Lille (1-2) at the Stade Vélodrome. He then handed out three yellow cards. In total he led 311 games in which he gave 98 penalties, 1165 yellow cards and 62 red cards. Several Ligue 1 clubs have expressed their fellow members to the relatives. PSG, AS Monaco, Olympique Lyon and Stade Brest, among others, are making themselves heard.