Champions League referee Johan Hamel dies aged 42 after suffering stroke in training

French referee John Hamel has died at the age of 42 after suffering a stroke while in training. He was last in action this weekend, officiating Lille’s game with Rennes and acting as the VAR for Paris Saint-Germain’s clash with Auxerre.

Hamel had overseen 136 Ligue 1 matches throughout his career since making his debut in the top flight in 2016/17 and was also regularly involved in European fixtures.

He was in charge of Real Madrid’s victory at home to Celtic in the Champions League this season and had also officiated in the Europa and Europa Conference League.

A statement from SAFE, France’s elite football refereeing union, reads: “Arbitration is in mourning. We learn of the death of our Colleague and Friend, Johan HAMEL, Ligue 1 referee, at the age of 42. To his Family, Relatives and Friends, the SAFE and the Arbitrators send their deepest condolences. Johan, we will miss you.”

Tributes have flooded in on social media to celebrate Hamel’s life, with Lille and Monaco among those to pay their respects.

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