Can We Talk About THAT Penalty?

The Bundesliga’s top game on Saturday saw Borussia Dortmund come away from the Deutsche Bank Stadion with all three points after a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Goals from Julian Brandt and Jude Bellingham either side of a fine Daichi Kamada strike settled it, but there was really only one topic of conversation post-match- the non-penalty involving Karim Adeyemi and Jesper Lindström.

They moment of controversy came in the 42nd minute. After Götze held his own against Nico Schlotterbeck on the right and with a bit of luck, Kolo Muani finally got the shot from a tight angle. The striker’s lifted effort hit the post and on the rebound Lindström looked to latch onto the loose ball. Pushed by Adeyemi he was prevented from doing so and it looked a clear penalty. However, referee Sascha Stegemann said no.


So far so controversial. Eintracht clearly thought it was a penalty, BVB clearly were not in agreement- time for a VAR check you would think, but there was no intervention from video referee Dr. Robert Kampka in the ‘Kölner Keller’ much to the anger of the Adler.

The anger

“The situation in the first half is a clear penalty – he has to whistle,” Frankfurt sporting director Markus Krösche moaned after the match. “If he doesn’t see it [the foul], then he has to ask. I don’t know if he did it in the end, but those are just things that really piss me off.

“If you do have the assistant, please ask him – that’s what we have him for. If you then change your mind, fine. But that’s a joke.”

The defence

“First, I was behind and yes, then he was in front of me. For me it wasn’t a foul at all” Adeyemi explained after the match. “So, I felt like I was body to body with him. That’s why I thought the referee was right. “We have three points, so I don’t really care.”

Embed from Getty Images

The admission

To make matters even worse the referee Stegemann admitted later that it was a penalty, and he would have given it had he been directed to view the replays. “On the field, the situation for me was as follows: there was normal physical contact between the player Adeyemi and Lindström – and that I didn’t see a clear foul, not a clear impulse. Just normal physical contact.

“It was sent accordingly to VAR in Cologne. There the situation was checked and classified as not clear and obviously wrong. That’s why the game continued at the end of the day.

“Yes, if I now see the pictures with the corresponding camera perspectives, then you have to clearly state that there should have been a penalty for Eintracht Frankfurt, because the situation is different in the slow motion and the TV pictures than it is for me on the field, just that there is a clear impulse with both hands – even if they don’t at the end of the day stretch out completely, but it was enough to bring down the player Lindstrom.”

The fallout

The admission will come as no compensation for Frankfurt but does once again highlight the use of VAR and what constitutes a ‘clear and obvious error’. There was also clearly some confusion as to whether VAR had reviewed it. Matches are interrupted enough with offside decisions and goals being checked. There is always going to be an element of jeopardy in matches, and you win some, you lose some. In this instance Frankfurt lost.

Remove the controversy and the jeopardy from football and you remove a lot of the excitement. The fact this article has been written and may spark differing opinions is what football is all about to some extent.

VAR, VAR, blah, blah, blah…

About Mathew Burt 1046 Articles
Former writer at and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball