A strong step, a strong signal! Norwegian FIFA referee Tom Harald Hagen has come out publicly. “I have a feeling that it’s important to make it less explosive, that I’m gay. I’ve lived like this my whole life, it’s not something I care about. It’s my everyday life, “the 42-year-old told the Kongsvinger newspaper” Glamdalen “.
Hagen is the first man of top Norwegian football who has decided to leave. He thinks the time is ripe and “he cannot imagine that it will have consequences other than the positive ones for me”, he stressed.
FIFA referee Tom Harald Hagen from Norway says “I’m gay”
It was “a little scary” that it was now in the media, Hagen added, but, “I’ve learned to feel safe with myself. My life is wonderful.”
Hagen, who has whistled in the Elite Series since 2006 and as a FIFA referee since 2009, has aroused a wave of sympathy. “I applaud, it’s fantastic,” said Abid Raja, minister of culture and equality.
Hagen “paves the way for greater tolerance and acceptance of diversity in sport,” he stressed. The Norwegian chief referee Terje Hauge called his colleague a “role model”, the tabloid “Verdens Gang” put the rainbow outing on the cover.
Hagen recently ran a game where a homophobic derailment occurred.