Norwegian Football League top referee Tom Harald Hagen said publicly on Monday that he was gay.

The issue was reported by the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet and the Norwegian magazine VG, among others.

Last Sunday, 42-year-old Hagen was the referee in a league match between Vålerenga and Kristiansund.

After the match, Norwegian newspapers were noisy because Kristiansund striker Flamur Kastrati had shouted at Vålerenga coach Dag-Eilev Fagermo in free Finnish with the words “gay asshole”.

The day after the match, Hagen told the local newspaper Glåmdalen that he was homosexual, according to VG.

- I have gradually begun to trust in myself, and my life is very good.

I have lived all my life like this, and it is not for me something that I was considering longer.

It’s part of my daily life, my relationships, my family - and my football family, Hagen said.

VG magazine wrote that Hagen, who also judged football in the Champions League, is a pioneer, as so far no Norwegian footballer or coach has publicly stated that he is homosexual.

Hagen said he did not hear Kastrat's homophobic shout in Sunday's match.

However, he felt that because of that episode, the timing of telling about his own sexuality to the public was relevant.

Hagen had not actually covered the matter in the past, as he had appeared in public with his partner, for example, in referee meetings.

- For me, it has been a completely natural part of life, Hagen summed up and said that she had received a lot of positive feedback from her colleagues about her public output.

On Twitter, Hagen's output was praised by former Norwegian national team player Jan Aage Fjörtoft, among others.

- What a role model!

Fjörtoft wrote and shared a picture of referee Hagen on the cover of the local newspaper Glåmdalen.