Gräfe and Matthäus are loud – referee errors put DFB under pressure

Updated on 26/04/2022 11:02

  • Originally, the introduction of video evidence was intended to minimize discussions about judge decisions.
  • But in the fifth season of the Bundesliga with video evidence, there can be no end to the discussions.
  • The situation seems more confused than ever.
  • Ex-judge Manuel Gräfe is therefore sharp towards DFB. And record international Lothar Matthäus renewed a claim.

More Bundesliga topics can be found here

Following the wrong refereeing decisions during the Bundesliga weekend, the criticism is growing – also with the German Football Association. The former top judge and ZDF expert Manuel Graefe blames many years of error development in DFB for the errors and calls for a “restart”.

Record country player Lothar Matthäus suggests former professional footballers in support of the video assistant after “decisions that are no longer so easy to accept”. DFB had even admitted mistakes made by referees in two matches.


After the Bundesliga top match between the old and new German champions Bayern Munich and second place Borussia Dortmund on the 31st match day, FIFA referee Daniel Siebert admitted errors that were hotly debated in public. Bayern’s 3-1 victory secured the record champions the championship title ahead of time, the tenth in a row.

© IMAGO / RHR-Foto / Reuters / Dennis Ewert

On the 31st match day, the role of video assistant in the Bundesliga again drew criticism. In the top match between FC Bayern and Borussia Dortmund (3-1), VAR did not intervene after Benjamin Pavard had attacked BVB professional Jude Bellingham from the penalty spot. In the 2-1 victory for 1. FC Union in RB Leipzig, the video assistant reported a kick from Leipzig’s Nordi Mukiele against Berlin’s Niko Gießelmann, but the referee did not change his decision. Video Evidence Project Manager Jochen Drees explained in a DFB announcement on Monday that wrong decisions had been made in both cases.

Column: Referee Daniel Siebert admits mistakes

“Despite clear TV images” a wrong decision is being made, criticizes Gräfe. For him “there is often a lack of the necessary football skills – or the limit of when to intervene or not. There has been one back and forth for years.” It is “actually unthinkable that even with pictures so many wrong decisions (…) affect the games”.

Manuel Gräfe: “DFB drove the referee against the wall”

“It is time, after DFB has run the referee structurally and personally against the wall for twelve years, to ask the question of responsibility,” Graefe wrote in a guest comment in the newspaper “Bild”, adding: “If it is in a club or does . not working in a company for years, at some point the management level will rightly be held accountable. “

The judges have been organized in an outsourced GmbH since January 1st. Referee Lutz Michael Fröhlich is responsible for the area of ​​”sports and communication”, while department head Florian Götte is responsible for “management and organization”. DFB is the majority shareholder with 51 percent, the German football league is also a shareholder.

Mistakes made by the judges remained unpunished – Gräfe misses the performance principle

There were simply too many wrong decisions, some of which were clearly wrong, said Gräfe, who emphasized: “Here we are again with the performance principle, which unfortunately has been at the back of the DFB referee management for a long time. Formerly with managers Fandel and Krug, today with Fröhlich , Meyer and Drees. ” The DFB – and in the meantime also the DFL – is called, because it can not be that this problem is so harmful to the Bundesliga. “Obviously, wrong decisions have no necessary consequences because people prefer to choose judges for positions or tasks based on personal, regional or political aspects.”

Gräfe, who had to end his career in the summer of 2021 due to age restrictions and sued the DFB for age discrimination, calls for a “restart without these political influences”. The 48-year-old Berliner proposes the engagement of former Swiss judge Urs Meier, who can act “independently and performance-oriented”.

Column: Players and coaches bow to Manuel Gräfe

However, Matthäus could imagine former professional footballers being used as support. The proposal is not new. “As former footballers, we can assess it better because we ourselves have been in these situations for years and know what it looks like when being committed or committed. How you fall, where the ball moves when it or the one in front it happens. And most importantly, we see it faster, “Matthäus wrote in a Sky column. The intuition of ex-footballers is different in such cases.

Also read: Two FC Bayern legends sound the alarm

Formula 1 works as a model. The leading motorsport class has used a former driver as a racing commissioner at every Grand Prix since 2010, precisely for the reasons that Matthäus mentioned. In disputed situations, they then decide on a possible punishment for a driver and the extent of it.

Lothar Matthäus does not want to abolish the video judge

Nevertheless, Matthäus is opposed to abolishing the video judge again. That would be “a step back,” the 1990 world champion said, “I think the bottom line is that more wrong decisions are being prevented than before, and there is still room for improvement.” (dpa / SID / hau)

Deniz Aytekin, Bundesliga referee

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