Reasons for Bundesliga referee Babak Rafati's attempted suicide remain unclear yet it has prompted requests for the German media to take greater care in its treatment of referees.
Rafati was found in the bathroom of his hotel room in Cologne, his wrists slashed, a few hours before kickoff of a Bundesliga match between Mainz 05 and FC Cologne he was to officiate. The 41-year-old was discovered by his assistant referees,
German sports publication kicker says it may discontinue conducting surveys of players such as the one compiled that listed Rafati as the worst Bundesliga referee. "We are considering whether or not in the future to include surveys of Bundesliga players on the question of who is the worst league referee," Kicker chief Klaus Smentek told SID, an AFP subsidiary.
Former World Cup referee Bernd Heynemann believes the surveys have to go. "These polls are not meaningful, the referees have the weakest lobby and so such surveys are a waste of time," he said.