Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham launched a furious attack on referee Felix Zwayer following his side’s 3-2 defeat to Bayern Munich, suggesting that an official with a past involving match-fixing should not be anywhere near the Bundesliga’s showpiece fixture.
A late Robert Lewandowski penalty finally settled the match in Bayern’s favor after a thrilling exhibition of football at Signal Iduna Park.
But not everyone was in agreement with the decision to award the decisive spot kick, least of all Dortmund’s teenage England international.
“For me it wasn’t [a penalty],” Bellingham claimed after the final whistle.
“[Mats] Hummels isn’t even looking at the ball, he’s fighting to get it and it just sort of hits him. It hits him, and I don’t even think he’s looking at the ball.
“You can look at a lot of the decisions in the game, you give a referee that has match-fixed before the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?”
The episode Bellingham referenced involving Zwayer related to his involvement in a Bundesliga match-fixing scandal in 2005.
Zwayer was banned for six months for taking a bribe from disgraced referee Robert Hoyzer while he acted as an assistant during a 2. Bundesliga match involving Wuppertaler SV, one of several officials to receive punishment following an investigation held by the German FA.
He has since risen to the top of his profession, and is one of four German referees afforded Elite status by UEFA.
Erling Haaland, who brought the game back to 2-2 shortly after halftime prior to Lewandowski’s winner, was equally outraged by the performance of the match official.
“I think it was a scandal when it comes to the refereeing,” the Norwegian fired, while also expressing his anger at seeing a penalty appeal for Marco Reus dismissed.
“He was arrogant, and I will say no more.”