Der Klassiker controversy puts referee integrity in the spotlight – the Athletic

In the 2014 DFB-Pokal final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, a mistakenly denied goal by BVB defender Mats Hummels paved the way for the acceptance of goal-line technology in Germany (and elsewhere) .

Key refereeing rulings in Saturday’s meeting between the country’s two biggest clubs were not so objectively wrong, but the fallout is still expected to be significant. Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham could face a ban and the career of one of Europe’s most prominent referees may well be over.

The irony is that Felix Zwayer could have easily avoided all the hassle. Disagreements over a referee’s verdict will never go away, but the introduction of VAR has created a reasonable expectation that officials will at least take the greatest possible care when making a key decision.

At the heart of Dortmund’s anger over their 3-2 home loss to Bayern was the fact that Zwayer had refused to do so in one case – he quickly dismissed the clamor for a consideration of a possible Lucas Hernandez foul on Marco Reus 10 minutes in the second half – but not in the other.

On his own, he had spotted Mats Hummels handling the ball ahead of Robert Lewandowski’s winning penalty in the 77th minute and asked VAR to provide additional information on the defender’s arm position. A quick review from the sideline confirmed that Hummels had hit the ball well, tripping over a cross with an outstretched elbow. It was unfortunate from the 32-year-old’s perspective, but the awarding of a penalty didn’t deserve much debate.

Hernandez on Reus, however, was anything but clear.

Comments are closed.