Is Dortmund’s referee fury justified?

Borussia Dortmund’s frustration was clear last night after they were held to a 1-1 draw by VfL Bochum at the Vonovia Ruhrpark in the Ruhrderby. The dropped points will allow Bayern to reclaim top spot in the table if they beat Hertha Berlin on Sunday, but BVB’s main frustration was aimed at referee Sascha Stegemann for three decisions they feel were wrong and potentially highly costly for their season. Do Dortmund have a case?

The three cases in point were the push on Emre Can in the lead up to the opening goal, the non-given penalty for the foul by Danilo Soares on Karim Adeyemi and the potential handball penalty not awarded right at the end of the game.

Sporting director Sebastian Kehl didn’t hide his ire in the mixed zone at the end of the match taking aim at the referee and venting his anger. “We’ve been self-critical over the past few weeks and have never looked elsewhere for mistakes. Today, however, I have to say that the referee decided the game” he fumed.

Talking first about the Can incident he was adamant a foul should have been given against Philipp Hofmann. “He shoves him. Anyone who’s played football knows what happens when you’re up in the air and you get shoved. The way Emre falls, it’s a foul play that leads to a goal in the end. He has to look at it.”

The penalty incident in the 65th minute however was the main focus of his rage. When the ball was played across to Adeyemi inside the area, an attempted tackle from Soares took out the player prior to the ball arriving and you’d have to say that anywhere else on the pitch it would have been given as a foul. The fact that the referee wasn’t advised to consult VAR.


“Five days before the end. When it comes to the absolute decision, the German championship. When you’re in this situation If you don’t use what you have available, don’t look at it, I think that’s negligent, cowardly and completely wrong” Kehl explained. “All in all, there were too many wrong decisions by the referee. Today things didn’t go right.”

Coach Edin Terzic was equally enraged as Kehl when speking post-match. “I went to the referee as soon as we conceded. Emre Can gets a clear push from behind. My first request was: ‘Look at it!’, but that was denied. And then the 2 penalties: I think that was very clear. You don’t need me for that.”

The penalty incident at the end where Erhan Masovic appeared to handle the ball was a lot more debatable as he was falling and using his arm for support, which would explain the ‘unnatural position’ and the fact the referee waved play on.

The Adeyemi incident however will rage on with perhaps only Bayern fans failing to admit that a penalty should have been given. There are surely going to be a few more twists and turns in this season’s title race, but if it comes down to tiny margins, this performance from referee Stegemann will come under increased scrutiny.

Dortmund are enraged over the refereeing decisions that didn’t go their way. Do they have a case?

About Mathew Burt 923 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

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