Professional Bellingham (left), referee Zwayer (center): The DFB is investigating
Photo: Bernd Thissen / dpa
Marco Haase began whistling football matches in 1987.
The 50-year-old now works for the DFB as a referee observer.
On Saturday he was in the Werder Bremen U23 game.
In the evening he followed the debate on the Bundesliga hit Dortmund against Bayern in the ZDF sports studio.
And what he saw there angered him so much that he filed a criminal complaint while the show was still on.
Against BVB professional Jude Bellingham and against a former colleague: Ex-Fifa referee Manuel Grafe.
Suspicion of libel, defamation, slander
There is suspicion, wrote Haase, of libel, defamation and slander.
The criminal complaint, which was emailed to the police and public prosecutor in Dortmund and Berlin, is available to SPIEGEL.
The trigger was therefore an interview by Bellingham on Norwegian television.
It was about the performance of Felix Zwayer, the referee of the evening.
Zwayer had whistled a controversial penalty for Bayern, which Robert Lewandowski converted to a 3-2 winner. The referee had denied Dortmund a penalty in another situation. Against this background, Bellingham scolded: »You are giving a referee who has already postponed games the biggest game in Germany. What do you expect? «Zwayer once appeared in connection with a referee scandal involving manipulated games, but has long since been rehabilitated at the DFB.
In the ZDF sports studio, Manuel Gräfe was also a vigorous expert. He could understand Dortmund's anger about the referee's performance. It was not right "in balance". "The decisions were made at BVB's expense and were unfortunately decisive for the game." A few months ago, Gräfe had given out against Zwayer in an interview with ZEIT magazine about the earlier affair.
In the advertisement, referee observer Haase wrote as a private person that BVB professional Bellingham could not have made his statement "from life experience" without Gräfe.
It was only because of the interview in ZEIT magazine, as Haase wants to understand, that Bellingham had the allegations against Zwayer in mind.
"In my perception, Gräfes' renewed appearance, which is as subterranean as it is unrelated to solidarity," on ZDF, Haase told SPIEGEL, would support the suspicion "in my opinion".
The DFB is already investigating.
"The control committee will examine the statement of the Dortmund player Jude Bellingham for its relevance to sports criminal law," said Anton Nachreiner, the chairman of the committee.
BVB club boss Hans-Joachim Watzke defended Bellingham: "His sentence is not wrong, even if he doesn't have to say it," said Watzke in the specialist magazine "Kicker".
Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn, on the other hand, sharply criticized.
"That goes a huge step too far, of course," said Kahn on Sky TV.
sms / dpa