Referee Felix Zwayer defends his decision-making after two hugely controversial penalty calls in Bayern Munich’s win over Borussia Dortmund which led to astonishing attack by Jude Bellingham referencing official’s ban for match-fixing
Referee Felix Zwayer has explained his decision-making after two controversial penalty calls led to Bayern Munich beating Borussia Dortmund and Jude Bellingham referencing the official’s involvement in a past match-fixing scandal.
Dortmund’s players and manager Marco Rose were left fuming over a number of decisions that went against them in the 3-2 defeat on Saturday night.
In particular, they were left aggrieved at a contentious handball verdict against defender Mats Hummels that resulted in Robert Lewandowski converting the winning penalty.
Referee Felix Zwayer defended his decision-making after two contentious penalty calls in Bayern Munich’s 3-2 win over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday night
Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham referenced Zwayer’s previous ban for match-fixing in a post-match interview following his side’s defeat
Dortmund were also denied a penalty earlier in the game when Marco Reus went down under challenge from Lucas Hernandez.
England midfielder Bellingham questioned in a post-match television interview why a referee who was banned for six months for his involvement in the 2005 German match-fixing scandal was allowed to take charge of such an important match.
‘You give a referee that has match-fixed before the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?’ said Bellingham.
But Zwayer, speaking to Sky Sport Deutschland, said of the Hummels handball decision: ‘The situation was a standard corner kick.
‘I see in the game that it’s about a touch by Hummels. The question for me was: Is the arm stretched away from the body or not? In real time, it was not clear whether his arm was moved towards the ball.
Dortmund players were furious with a number of decisions given against them on the night
Dortmund’s manager Marco Rose took to the stands after he was sent off for dissent
‘I checked it with [VAR officials] in Cologne and then the arm position was checked.
‘The video assistant made an assessment for himself and said that Hummels had his arm away from the body in an unnatural position.
‘In the end, he clearly deflected the ball with his elbow and I came to the decision that is was a penalty.’
Zwayer checked replays of the incident on the pitchside VAR monitor at Signal Iduna Park before awarding the spot-kick but Dortmund were still incensed.
Their mood wasn’t helped by being denied a penalty when Reus and Hernandez tangled in the Bayern box.
But Zwayer said: ‘It was a contact in the upper body area, which is allowed to happen even at high speed.
‘The situation is not black and white, I decided against the penalty because of my line of sight.
Robert Lewandowski’s penalty which sealed the victory was the talking point of the match
‘It wasn’t necessary for me [to consult VAR] because I had a clear view.
‘If the video assistant had a second opinion he would have told me through the earpiece.’
That didn’t stop Bellingham astonishingly bringing up the match-fixing scandal after the match.
Zwayer was banned for 6 months for his involvement which included accepting a €300 bribe from fellow referee Robert Hoyzer.
Erling Haaland also spoke to media after the game and had to hold himself from criticising the referee more than he did.
The striker felt that Dortmund should have been awarded a penalty for a challenge on Marco Reus and said the referee was ‘arrogant’ in his response when the striker asked him why he didn’t check VAR.
Zwayer checks the VAR monitor at pitchside before awarding Bayern their penalty
Haaland said: ‘I think it was a scandal when it comes to the referee.’
He added: ‘Clear penalty. I asked him why didn’t you go and look and he said ‘no need’ like arrogant. I have to calm down a little bit now but yeah he was arrogant, I won’t say more.’
Julian Brandt had given BVB the early lead, before he later went off after a clash of heads.
Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman turned the match around before half-time, with Haaland levelling matters just minutes after the restart.
Dortmund manager Rose was sent off for dissent after his animated appeals on the touchline fell on deaf ears as tempers threatened to boil over after Bayern were awarded their match-winning penalty.
Bayern Munich now hold a four point lead over their rivals following their victory on Saturday night.