German referees under fire after match errors

7th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 March 2005, BERLIN - The world governing body FIFA was set to look into a German match-fixing scandal on Tuesday which appears to be affecting the performance of referees in all German leagues. Ever since Robert Hoyzer admitted earlier in the year to fixing cup and lower league games he officiated at for a betting syndicate, referees have been at the centre of attention. There were several wrong calls in past weeks, but the issue boiled over on Sunday when Peter Gagelmann wrongly denied Hertha Berlin two

7 March 2005

BERLIN - The world governing body FIFA was set to look into a German match-fixing scandal on Tuesday which appears to be affecting the performance of referees in all German leagues.

Ever since Robert Hoyzer admitted earlier in the year to fixing cup and lower league games he officiated at for a betting syndicate, referees have been at the centre of attention.

There were several wrong calls in past weeks, but the issue boiled over on Sunday when Peter Gagelmann wrongly denied Hertha Berlin two goals for offside and Manuel Graefe awarded three penalties in Nuremberg, none of which was justified according to television replays.

"These things can happen. The match officials don't deal with controversial situations in the same way as in the past," said Manfred Amarell, referee spokesman of the national federation DFB.

"Referees are human, they aren't robots nor machines."

Nuremberg coach Wolfgang Wolf said: "I feel a bit sorry for them, they are going through a terrible time."

Graefe was wrong with his call on all three penalties in the Nuremberg vs. Dortmund match which ended 2-2 and infuriated Dortmund coach Bert van Marwijk.

"The influence of the referee was too much," he said.

Graefe is under more pressure than other referees because he was one of three match officials who first told the DFB about Hoyzer, staring the ball rolling in a scandal which has seen criminal investigations against 25 people ranging from referees to players and outsiders who made millions with their bets.

In Berlin, Gagelmann and his linesman erred twice when they denied Hertha two goals in a 1-1 draw with Kaiserslautern.

"If you see on TV after the match that it wasn't offside it is annoying. But there were two close calls and we had to decide on the spot," said Gagelmann.

The Sunday incidents led to renewed calls for video evidence during matches, but that was dismissed by Amarell and German football supremo Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder.

"That would kill the game," said Mayer-Vorfelder at the FIFA executive board meeting in Zurich which will also look into the Hoyzer affair.

Amarell said the DFB offers psychological assistance for the match officials and goes over the games together with them in TV replays.

"They must deal with the stressful situations themselves and with our help. We don't lash out at them," said Amarell. 

DPA

Subject: German news

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