French ex-FIFA AR Stephane Duhamel, brother of the FIFA Referee Laurent Duhamel, committed suicide, by hanging, last Saturday night, at age 42, announced the French Football Federation (FFF). It is not known the reasons that led him to commit such an act. His funeral will be celebrated in Normandy, in Grand-Quevilly, where he lived, and a religious ceremony will be held on Wednesday, 8 February 2012. In shock, the French Football Federation (FFF) and the National Referees Committee (DNA) have expressed their deepest condolences to Duhamel’s family and friends.
Although he would have had 3 more years on the international list, Stephane Duhamel suddenly quit refereeing at the end of 2011. As a FIFA assistant referee since 2007, he had officiated in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League, as well as World Cup qualifiers, in most occasions along with his brother, Laurent Duhamel.
This recent suicide is far from an isolated act in the international football. In November 2011, German FIFA Referee Babak Rafati had tried to commit suicide a few minutes before the start of the Bundesliga match between Cologne and Mainz. The announcement had caused a commotion in the German football, already shaken by the suicide of goalkeeper Robert Enke in 2009.