Soccer Player Consoles Referee

Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan was consoled by Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk after the Netherlands’ 2-2 draw with Germany on Monday. It is understood the 38-year-old official had discovered...

Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan was consoled by Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk after the Netherlands’ 2-2 draw with Germany on Monday.

It is understood the 38-year-old official had discovered his mother had died in the build-up to the match. And Van Dijk showed his human side, embracing the emotional Hategan at the final whistle.

“That man broke down, stood with tears in his eyes because he had just lost his mother,” Van Dijk said. “I wished him strength and said he had refereed well. It’s a small thing, but I hope it helped him.”

Hategan recently took charge of Barcelona’s Champions League victory over Inter Milan. He also refereed the second leg of Manchester United’s Europa League semi-final win over Celta Vigo in 2017.

Goals from Timo Werner and Leroy Sane had put Germany ahead. But the Dutch implemented a tactical switch – that manager Ronald Koeman was originally unaware of – with Quincy Promes’ 85th-minute goal initiating their revival.

Virgil Van Djik went on to score the equalizer in the last few minutes to earn the Dutch a draw. The result meant that Holland join England, Switzerland and Portugal in the finals of the inaugural Nations League. The semi finals and final of the competition will take place in June next year.

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