European football mourns Vladimir Hriňák

Slovakian international referee and referee administrator Vladimir Hriňák, who took charge of numerous European club and national-team matches, has passed away at the age of 47.

Vladimir Hriňák was a much-respected international referee
Vladimir Hriňák was a much-respected international referee ©Getty Images

European football is mourning the passing of the former international referee Vladimir Hriňák, who has died at the age of 47.

In addition to a distinguished career as a match official, Vladimir Hriňák also held a number of positions within the Slovak Football Association (SFZ) as a much-respected referee administrator.

Born on 25 February 1964, Hriňák began refereeing in the Slovak first division in the 1992/93 season. He became a FIFA referee in 1993, and officiated at more than 100 European club and national-team matches. In 2008, Vladimir Hriňák was fourth official at the UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United FC and Chelsea FC in Moscow.

He ended his active career as a referee in 2009, taking charge of his last continental match between Villarreal CF and FC Salzburg in the UEFA Europa League on 17 December of that year.

Hriňák went on to work in the Slovak football refereeing sector. He was chairman of the Bratislava Football Association referees committee, and initiated numerous projects and ideas as the manager for referee education and the UEFA Referee Convention.

The European football family would like to express its deepest sympathy to Vladimir Hriňák's family and friends.