Swedish soccer referee Mohammed Al-Hakim is shutting down his Facebook page after national and international attention has made the page too big for Al-Hakim to handle.
“It was great fun but quite simply I don’t have the time anymore. I have two jobs, a family and a refereeing career to think about,” Hakim said in statement posted on the Swedish FA’s website that the Guardian took part of.
Al-Hakim, 30, launched the Facebook page earlier in the month in order to connect with fans and explain certain decisions he had made on the pitch and give them more of a look into the life as a referee. His first post on the page was about a controversial non-call in a game between Norrkoping and AIK. Al-Hakim admitted on the page that he should have given a penalty kick in the game. The page blew up and garnered a lot of attention from national and international media.
“I don’t have enough time,” Al-Hakim said. “It almost became a full-time job to keep up the quality of the page, integrate followers and moderating comments.
“It’s very sad, I got a lot of great feedback but unfortunately it’s not working out anymore.”
Al-Hakim referees in the Swedish top division Allsvenskan, and second-tier Superettan. He also serves as a lieutenant in the Swedish Army.
He said that the page was an attempt to have an open dialogue with fans in an effort to give them a better understanding of everyday life of referees.