The Referee (2010) - Rättskiparen

An ambitious referee in ‘Rättskiparen’ (2010)

Rättskiparen is a short Swedish documentary about Martin Hansson, a former firefighter, divorced with 2 sons, who puts football before everything else in hopes of refereeing at WC 2010.

His assessor says that sometimes Martin has too much courage. Because of his unpopular decisions/mistakes, he and the Swedish media are mutually antagonistic, he is subject to anonymous threats, and his family sometimes has to go into hiding.

Mattias Löw documents Martin’s path from becoming one of the first five professional referees in the Swedish Fotboll association in Jan-2009, to WC referee selection. Martin’s goal is to be mistake-free, but on Nov-18-2009, he is the CR who fails to see Thierry Henry’s handling of the goal that sends France to WC 2010 ahead of Ireland.

Hard to find Martin sympathetic

This documentary gives a small sense of what it takes to be a referee at the top level, the personal cost thereof, and the need to have friends who protect you. But it is difficult to care about Martin.

Martin did not get any CR assignments at WC 2010, and he retired from international refereeing in Oct-2013.

The French film Les Arbitres is much better at communicating the referee life and selection process. If you only watch one movie about WC refereeing, watch Les Arbitres instead.

4 Soccer Movie Mom Rating = 4


  • Release Date: 2010-06-03 (Sweden)
  • In Swedish with English subtitles
  • Swedish title is Rättskiparen , English title is The Referee
  • 28 minutes long.
  • IMDB
  • Director: Mattias Löw
  • Watch the film