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Discussions about controversial referees


He was a key witness in the biggest referee scandal in German football to date. A role that covered Felix Zwayer's involvement in the case. Later revelations didn't hurt his career either.

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Felix Zwayer in the game Bayern against Dortmund: Jude Bellingham is appalled by a decision by the referee


Kolvenbach / imago images / Kolvenbach

"A huge step too far," says Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn.

Dortmund's sports director Michael Zorc thinks he has given "old things" and nothing but "facts" anyway.

The heated discussion about a much quoted interview statement by BVB professional Jude Bellingham about referee Felix Zwayer after the game against Bayern moves between these two extremes, which is repeated here for the sake of completeness:

»You give a referee who has postponed games the biggest game in Germany.

What do you expect?"

Jude Bellingham is 18 years old.

When what he was referring to happened, he was just two.

The fact, as Zorc said in his defense, is: Zwayer was involved in the biggest referee scandal in German football to date about the former referee Robert Hoyzer. Among other things, Hoyzer had manipulated a cup game in the first round between SC Paderborn and Hamburger SV in August 2004. A few months earlier, Zwayer is said to have been guilty of violations of sports law as Hoyzer's assistant at a regional league game between Wuppertaler SV and Werder Bremen II, as the German Football Association (DFB) announced in November 2005. Hoyzer gave Zwayer 300 euros to “make incorrect decisions in favor of Wuppertaler SV”.

It was not until nine years later, through a publication in “Die Zeit”, that the DFB, after investigations led by today's DFB interim president Rainer Koch, considered it to be proven that Zwayer, who had just turned 23 at the time, had actually pocketed money.

A manipulation, which Zwayer always denied, has not been proven to him.

The role that Zwayer played in the scandal goes beyond this one regional league game in 2004.

Hoyzer will be remembered

Zwayer and Hoyzer, who was later sentenced to two years and five months in prison, knew each other from the association in Berlin to which they both belonged at the time, and they ran games together.

And Zwayer knew that Hoyzer was connected to the betting mafia, but reported it late.

In January 2005, four referees came to the DFB and unpacked through Hoyzer, including Zwayer.

His role as a key witness masked his entanglements, the acceptance of the money and the belated reporting.

The public has long since noticed Hoyzer in particular, and the notorious "Café King", where later convicted competition godfathers threaded the crooked things.

Meanwhile, Zwayer, a trained real estate agent who now runs several companies, was advancing his career as an arbitrator.

From 2007 he whistled games in the 2nd Bundesliga, two years later he was promoted to the Bundesliga.

Since 2012 he has been on the referee list of the world association Fifa, since 2017 the European association Uefa has listed him in the »Elite category«.

In 2014, ten years after the regional league game and Hoyer's payment, Zwayer was named "Referee of the Year" by the DFB.

A good three months later, the past caught up with him again.

In the research published by “Die Zeit”, “The Zwayer Files” is quoted from a judgment of the DFB Sports Court from May 2006, which the association had therefore kept secret.

It didn't really hurt him

The Vita Zwayers shows that publication did not harm his career.

His past is brought into play again and again - depending on which team or fan group feels disadvantaged by him, his past is brought back to light.

Zwayer himself faced his critics after the top game on Saturday evening, calling his penalty decision "undisputed" after Mats Hummels' handball.

Hummels had "cleared the ball clearly with his elbow, that is to be assessed as a penalty".

Zwayer received backing from his employer, who is now investigating Bellingham.

Discussions are "understandable" given Zwayer's generous line, said Jochen Drees in an interview with the video evidence project manager published on the DFB website.

"If you look at the situation in isolation, the assessment of a punishable handball and thus a penalty is correct."

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2021-12-05

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