Following heavy suspicion that disciplinary action would occur, there has been an official criminal complaint lodged against Jude Bellingham for the comments he made towards Felix Zwayer after Bayern Munich’s 3-2 der Klassiker win over Borussia Dortmund. Marco Haase, who is currently a volunteer for the DFB, filed the complaint against the midfielder on the grounds of defamation for the comments he made post-match to reporters (SportBild).
The emotional response stemmed from controversial decisions that were made by Zwayer during the match, both of which went in favor of Bayern. Marco Reus could’ve been awarded a penalty after a coming together with Lucas Hernandez in Bayern’s box and Mats Hummels had conceded a penalty after been ruled to handle the ball in the box after Zwayer had viewed the VAR monitor pitch side. Bellingham was clearly frustrated with the decisions, noticeably even before his post match interview when he clattered into Manuel Neuer in stoppage time unnecessarily.
The quote in question:
You give a referee who has already match fixed before the biggest game in Germany. What do you expect?
“The control committee will examine the statement of the Dortmund player Jude Bellingham for their relevance to sports criminal law,” Dr. Anton Nachreiner, who is chairman of the DFB control committee. Within the bylaws of the DFB, Bellingham’s remark could be considered verbal insult and defamation towards Zwayer and the DFB, and is thus pursuable as a legal issue from the DFB.
Haase’s complaint also involves former DFB referee Manuel Gräfe, who had criticized Zwayer’s decision making and handling of der Klassiker after the match doing punditry work for ZDF. He said the decisions “were really at the expense of BVB and unfortunately they were decisive for the game at the end of the day. In a top game, it is also part of the fact that a top referee has a feel for it and works it off properly.” He continued by saying, “Sometimes the referee went out, sometimes not. There was a lack of balance in the game” (Sport1).
Over the summer, he criticized Zwayer’s past involvement with Robert Hoyzer and the betting scandal back in 2005. “Anyone who has once accepted money and kept Hoyzer’s manipulation secret for six months should not whistle in professional football,” he said. Haase’s official complaint cites Gräfe’s previous remarks about Zwayer, saying that Bellingham “can not have made this statement from life experience” without having heard what Gräfe had said.