Norway's second highest-ranking FIFA referee Tom Harald Hagen (37), has decided to quit international refereeing. The 37-year-old referee from Hedmark will focus on the Norwegian Premier League rather than international football matches in the future.
“It is a demanding arena, both internationally and here at home, and after an overall assessment, I decided that I want to concentrate on the domestic refereeing. It was clearly a difficult decision, and I had to think seriously about it, because you do not come back once you have said no. It takes time and effort, because the international season it is longer than here, at home, and then you have to dedicate 24 hours a day to refereeing”, continued Hagen, who has refereed internationally for seven years. “I will always remember my international debut at San Siro in Milan. It has been a fun trip, with matches in Europe, World Cup qualifiers and fourth official during the last European Championship”, remembers Hagen. One should represent Norway in a good way, you have to be 100 percent ready and prepared it, which I felt I was not now”, said Hagen. He was placed in UEFA's first category and has been the Norway's second highest rated FIFA referee after Svein Oddvar Moen. He has refereed a number of group matches in the Europa League, and also in the Champions League, states fotball.no. Now he will use the extra time to work in inner Østland association, where he will train new talented referees. The decision came as a surprise to the Head of Norway’s refereeing, Terje Hauge. “Tom Harald Hagen has taken this decision himself. NFF want to ensure that we can develop as many as possible top referees who assert themselves internationally. Therefore, we regret that one of our top referees decided to quit internationally at such a young age, but we respect his decision and of course are pleased that we can benefit from his experience in the Norwegian football for several years”, said Hauge.
Source: VG Sporten