4th official and footballer confirm relationship having met when he was sent off

Dutch footballer Jeff Hardeveld has confirmed his relationship with fourth official Shona Shukrula – months after she officiated in a game where he was sent him off in the Dutch second division.

Hardeveld plays for FC Emmen in Eerste Divisie, the same league where Shukrula officiates.

The 26-year-old left-back was given his marching orders in the clash with FC Eindhoven back in August last year.

But that mishap hasn't prevented the couple from finding love off the pitch.

According to De Telegraaf, that was the first meeting between the pair, who went public with their relationship on social media during a romantic New Year's trip to Rome.

Shukrula wrote on Instagram: "It’s official @jeffhardeveld," with a picture of the couple posing together.

Hardeveld shared a similar snap on his personal account to confirm his relationship with the 30-year-old stunner.

Shukrula, who became a FIFA qualified referee back in 2017, began fourth official duties in the Dutch second tier back in 2020 – just a year before she met Hardeveld.

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She is one of the highest-rated officials in the Dutch game and has received international appointments in Champions League fixtures as well as European Championship and World Cup qualifiers.

Hardeveld has only been playing in the division for Emmen for a short while.

The left-back signed on for Emmen as recently as last year and has only played a handful of games for the Dutch outfit – and has only played twice since he was dismissed in the clash with Eindhoven back in August.

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Hardeveld started his career with Dutch giants Feyenoord back in 2013 but left the club without making a single appearance.

He's since gone on to turn out for the likes of FC Utrecht and Heracles before sealing his switch to Emmen.

Hardeveld has previously been capped by the Dutch national side at various youth levels, including a solitary U21 cap back in 2015, but has struggled to build on that domestically.

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