May 16, 2012

Inconceivable incidents at Bundesliga relegation match

When Wolfgang Stark blew the kick-off whistle at yesterday's 2nd leg of the Bundesliga relegation tie between Fortuna Düsseldorf and Hertha BSC Berlin at Esprit Arena before 50.000 visitors, he could not know that this would become the most incredible match German football has probably ever seen.
But, one by one..

As it is common for three years now in Bundesliga, the 16th in the Bundesliga ranking has to play a relegation tie against the 3rd positioned team of 2nd Bundesliga. This includes a first and also a second leg. Last week, the 2nd Bundesliga high flyer Fortuna Düsseldorf managed to win at Berlin's Olympiastadium by 2-1.
Yesterday, after only 31 seconds of played time, Düsseldorf smoothed the path as Maximilian Beister scored after a fabulous strike. In the course of the first half however, Hertha BSC managed to apply their technical quality they actually never managed to show this season and consequently equalized by a header after a correct free kick.

Idiots having thrown bengalos onto the pitch (c) WELT

Later, in the second half, the match became more intense and Stark had a lot of work to do. Remarkable was also DFB's appointment: after Jan-Hendrik Salver made a wrong and match decisive mistake in Fortuna's match against Eintracht Frankfurt, they simply decided to replace him for this important match. Hence, Mike Pickel and Wolfgang Walz accompanied the German EURO referee along with Markus Wingenbach acting as fourth official. Anyway, Änis Ben Hatira was shown the 2nd yellow card in the early second half was therefore dismissed. He made a dangerous foot-up tackle solely based on wantonness and even frustration. A correct call. Only a few moments later, Düsseldorf performed a tremendously perfect counterattack and scored the 2-1. It was the moment when Stark had to interrupt the match for the first time. Bengalos were inflamed, thrown in the direction of other visitors' tribunes and even thrown onto the pitch by Hertha fans - no, the term "fans" is not adequate, I will continue writing this post by deploying the term "idiots" - by Hertha idiots. Wolfgang Stark waited for a short while, clearly emphasized upon consultation with the DFL match commissioner and the DFB executive Dr. Rainer Koch at the sideline that the match would be abandoned as soon as there would have been one further incident. This admonition was sensible, the match could finally continue. Hertha BSC scored the 2-2 in the late stages of the regular time which meant that they only needed one further goal to stay in Bundesliga. And then, one of the most exciting moments in such a match, Markus Wingenbach signaled the official additional time of 7 minutes, which was absolutely adequate. 
Hertha made their last desperate attempts, Düsseldorf's Jovanovic then appeared freely in front of the Hertha goalkeeper, but did not score. What happened then, equates a nightmare. When Thomas Kraft, the goalkeeper, wanted to restart the match, Stark suddenly whistled in a heavy way, the whole players made sprints into the dressing rooms. Let me say that I have never seen Stark running thus fast. Even though it is unbelievable, the fans stormed the pitch one minute before the 97' minute was played. Fortuna Düsseldorf supporters stormed the pitch in masses. The whole pitch was covered, there were attacks on Hertha players. With heavy efforts and approximately many hundred forces - police as well as stewards - the mob calmed down. The stadium announcer tried everything to make the people be clear that the match was not finished. There were fans already unearthing the penalty spot as kind of remembrance, attempting to carve parts of the goal net. As neutral spectators in front of the TV, which also counts for the commentary who was of course at the tribunes, one could not believe what one had seen. Honestly speaking, one sat there for 15 minutes, watched the incidents open-mouthed. 

Supporters storming the pitch minutes before the final whistle (c) RP

Thousands of supporters were on the field (c) Kicker

Stark's and Pickel's way into their dressing rooms (c) Tagesspiegel

After the mob had finally calmed down, referee Wolfgang Stark returned on the pitch along with his team again and visualized the situation. Along with Koch and the DFL commissioner, he decided to restart the match as soon as the internal space of the stadium would be free in compliance with the laws of the game. After again 15 minutes of resting and waiting, Düsseldorf and the referees returned onto the pitch. No sign from Hertha BSC Berlin. Stark and Wingenbach visited them in the dressing room, the DFL commissioner accompanied them. Finally, they returned as well. Stark let the play restart for 90 seconds, blew the final whistle, and again everybody sprinted as fast as possible to escape the thousands of visitors who wanted to celebrate the promotion. 
The capital's club is considering a protest against the result. DFB has started investigations. As immeasurable the consequences of abandonment would have been, as immeasurable the punishments will probably be, too.
Today, it was communicated by the lawyer of Hertha BSC Berlin that it was the police who asked Berlin to return onto the pitch as the consequences of an abandoned match immeasurable. He furthermore stated that the Berlin players dwelled in mortal fear in the dressing room. 
Probably, Stark, who showed an excellent performance after all and who was really willing to conduct this 97 minutes if it is possible, was coerced to restart the match as well. Let me say that, finally, it was actually not possible to restart the match. 

Anyway, after this match, Stark is ready for everything...
Herbert Fandel has emphasized his pleasure that DFB had appointed Stark for this match and stated that they were glad how he managed to maintain control over the match until the end.



  1. i znowu Stark pokazał się ze złej strony jako nieudolny sędzia te czasy kiedy ten 43-letni urzędnik bankowy był w Niemczech najlepszy niestety już mineły i nie wrócą bo Stark już ku emeryturze zmierza. Imbliżej tejże emerytury Stark coraz gorzej sędzióje.To jego chyba ostatni turniej piłkarski czyli ME i schluss

    1. Jeżeli nie masz pojęcia o sędziowaniu, a także o wybitnej klasie Starka, to lepiej się nie wypowiadaj. To najlepszy obecnie sędzia na świecie. Wczoraj był perfekcyjny.


      If you have not any knowledge about refereeing and also about Wolfgang Stark, it would be better to not say such stupid things. It's one of the best referees in the World. Yesterday he was near ideal...

    2. akurat mam pojęcie o sędziowaniu tylko ostatecznie zrezygnowałem z pujścia na kurs co Starka sędziował u nas w Polsce dwa mecze eliminacji i wiem jak sędziował ale ostatnio jest dużo tych skarg na niego, jak taki dobry to czemu na ostatnich MŚ sędziował 3 mecze a w meczu 1/8 finału popełnich sporo błędów i Aranda go odesłał a oglądałeś 1/2 finału CH.L. 210\11 REAL-BARCA tam słabo gwizdał jesteś z Korei to co wiesz o tym co siędzieje w EUROPIE.Po zatym Stark przeplata dobre mecze ze słabymi.A ty też jesteś sędzią. Dobry ale to jego 1-szy dopiero finał do Merka i Colliny mu daleko, i jeszcze jedno jak taki dobry to dlaczego nie wygrał rankingu IFFHS co a jego rodak Merk aż 3 razy umiesz odpowiedzieć co?

    3. Zalecałbym mniej błędów ortograficznych i interpunkcyjnych, skoro jesteś Polakiem... Real - Barca - hahha wiedziałem. Jeśli on tam gwizdał słabo, to nie wiem, gdzie znajdziesz drugą osobę w świecie sędziowskim, która to potwierdzi. Pewnie jesteś wielkim polskim sympatykiem Realu, nie? Każdy sędzia przeplata dobre mecze ze słabymi, akurat Stark ma zdecydowanie więcej meczów lepszych, dlatego jest tak wysoko ceniony wszędzie. Jestem Polakiem, nigdy nie kieruj się nickiem :). Nie powiedziałbym, że mu daleko, po prostu poziom sędziowania, jak i jego władze się mocno zmieniły. Zmieniły się także tendencje, które kiedyś czyniły gwiazdami mocno wyróżniających się arbitrów. Teraz wyraźne tendencje ku wyrównaniu poziomu. A ranking IFFHS jest śmieszny, przecież Webb ani Kassai nie był najlepszym sędzią. Słabo są tam uwzględnieni sędziowie spoza Europy.


      Niclas, can you delete all these pseudo-Polish comments. I don't want to do a Polish forum here :) Regards. Only add, that jax strongly criticize Stark performances, especially Real - Barca, haha.

  2. Vlado Šajn got two Champions League finals, I just read that he will be Referee observer in Women's Champions Legaue.

    Competition: UEFA Women's Champions League 2011/2012
    Round: Final
    Date: 17/05/2012 18:00
    Match: Olympique Lyonnais (FRA) - 1. FFC Frankfurt (GER)
    Kick-off: 18:00
    Stadium: Olympiastadion
    Venue: Munich ( Germany )

    UEFA Match Delegate: Ivančica SUDAC (CRO)
    Referee Observer: Vladimir SAJN (SVN)
    Referee: Jenny PALMQVIST (SWE)
    Assistant 1: Helen KARO (SWE)
    Assistant 2: Anna NYSTRÖM (SWE)
    4th Official: Sara PERSSON (SWE)
    Venue Director: Anne VONNEZ (SUI)
    Media Officer: Sebastian BURKARD (GER)
    Venue Data Coordinator: Dmitri MAMYKIN (LVA)

  3. Several Hertha players are now being charged by DFB for insulting or assaulting the referee after the end of the match. Levan Kobiashvili allegedly hit Stark in the neck.

    When they introduced these relegation play-offs recently, they wanted to create more drama and excitmenet (artificially); now they have the result...


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