Manuel Gräfe: Referees feel let down

Berlin (dpa) – After the recently admitted wrong decisions in the Bundesliga, the former top referee Manuel Graefe has again called for a restart in the refereeing.

“The referees feel alone and abandoned,” said Graefe in the ZDF “Sportstudio”. At an early stage of the season there had already been “a lot of blatant wrong decisions”, said the 48-year-old and described this as a “heavy thing”.

Gräfe: “Handball confusion”

Gräfe spoke of “handball confusion” and different interpretations of foul games. In addition, the German Football Association did not find a clear line in the video evidence. Most recently, Peter Sippel, the DFB ‘s sporting director of the Bundesliga referee, admitted several mistakes in controversial handball situations in a statement from the association.

This form of communication surprised the referees, said Gräfe. He pointed out that referee instructor Lutz Wagner had had a different opinion shortly before during a TV appearance. “The fact that there are already different opinions within the Commission only shows that they themselves are not sure what they have to decide,” said Gräfe.

Top referee Felix Brych rejected this representation. “We communicate a lot internally,” said the Munich player in Sport1’s “double pass”. All referees and video assistants would have connected before the seventh matchday. “We also noticed that the first few weeks were very restless. But we’re working on it,” said Brych.

As in April, the Berliner once again brought the former Swiss world-class referee Urs Meier into play as a manager for the German referees. Meier is someone who “regardless of politics, personal regional influences would evaluate the performance of the referees and bring them into shape,” said Graefe.

The former FIFA referee had to end his career in the summer of 2021 due to age restrictions. That’s why there was a dispute between him and the DFB.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220918-99-803670/3

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