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After penalty oddity at Bayern bankruptcy in Leverkusen: harsh criticism of Gräfe fuels debate



After penalty oddity at Bayern bankruptcy in Leverkusen: harsh criticism of Gräfe fuels debate

The penalty issue in the game in Leverkusen further fueled the debate about the referees and the video evidence.

Manuel Gräfe garnished his devastating criticism of Tobias Stieler and the referee bosses with an eye-to-monkey.

The emoji at the end of his tweet about the much-discussed penalty oddity in the Bundesliga game between Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich (2-1) was the visual summary of the all-round blow with which the ex-referee continued to fuel the debate about his former colleagues and the video evidence.

“If you want to illustrate the wrong development of personnel over the last decade, then that such referees were sponsored by the DFB up to the highest group of UEFA, but the performance never justified it,” Graefe tweeted, who is still in a legal dispute with the German Football Association (DFB) is located.

Graefe did not shy away from even referring to the head of the referee, Lutz Michael Fröhlich, and the former top officials Herbert Fandel and Hellmut Krug by name.

Leverkusen – Bavaria: Stieler makes for a curiosity

Already in his tweet before that, Gräfe had hardly left a good hair on the performance of the referees on the Bundesliga weekend. It is noticeable “that every referee continues to do what he says with hand, foul and VAR,” wrote the 49-year-old, who only exempted “experienced people” like Frank Willenborg from his scolding: “Others are still missing the line – unfortunately”.

This criticism certainly applies to Stieler. The referee from Hamburg made two big mistakes in Sunday’s game between Leverkusen and Bayern. He twice accused Leverkusen’s Amine Adli of a swallow in the Munich penalty area.

Twice he imposed a yellow card for this alleged attempt at deception with conviction. Twice he had to take it back meekly, ask for an apology – and give Bayer a penalty.

Stieler: “Prime example of perfect cooperation”

“My soul is crying a bit,” said Stieler after the final whistle DAZN, “but the football world can be satisfied.” The football world – yes. Himself – not at all. That’s why Stieler knew who to turn to: his colleague Sören Storks.

“It was a prime example of perfect collaboration with the video assistant,” said Stieler. “The VAR always gets a lot of criticism, but that was very good. He was sort of my lifesaver – and also the lifesaver for the game.” The summary: “Twice on the field next to it, twice many thanks to the Kölner Keller for the great support. In the end both teams were happy because the right decision was made.”

Aytekin counters Gräfe’s criticism

That’s exactly how Fröhlich wants to see it – and that’s exactly how it usually works, in his opinion. “For me, the debate is currently too negative,” commented the referee boss on the ongoing conflicts surrounding the video evidence at Bild live. “Everything that doesn’t go well is discussed. And everything that’s going well is not addressed,” said Fröhlich: “We’ve had a lot of quiet game days as far as the VAR is concerned.”

Gräfe sees it very differently – but the constant criticism is now getting on the nerves of some of his ex-colleagues. Deniz Aytekin described Gräfe as an “incredibly good referee” on Monday, but the “always the same sweeping criticisms tire me”.