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Fourth official from Bayern Munich’s loss to Gladbach weighs in on Nagelsmann remarks

Frank Willenborg ascertained that all the beef was quickly settled between Nagelsmann and the officiating crew at Borussia Park.

Borussia Mönchengladbach v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Tempers flared last weekend during the first half of Bayern Munich’s 3-2 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach when Dayot Upamecano was sent off in the eighth minute in controversial fashion. He was ruled to have brought down ‘Gladbach’s Alassane Plea as the last man back for Bayern, though the replays seemed to suggest there was only the slightest of touched from Upamecano on the attacker’s shoulder and a bit of theatrics ensued. Julian Nagelsmann was visibly frustrated by the call and vented his frustrations after the match, calling the officiating crew from the encounter a “soft bunch” and “whimps.”

Nagelsmann was quick to take to his social media accounts to publicly apologize for the words he used against the officiating crew from the match and though the DFL and DFB are going to launch an investigation into the incident, the quickness of his public apology will only work in his favor. Tobias Welz later confirmed that it was the advice from his colleagues based in the replay center in Cologne that made him feel the decision didn’t merit a second look on the video assist monitor on the side of the pitch. He explained his rationale last Sunday on Sport1’s Dopplepass.

The fourth official from the match, who happened to be Frank Willenborg, has also weighed in on the verbal joust from Nagelsmann post-match. Per German outlet Neue OZ (as per @iMiaSanMia), Willenborg said that the issue was settled inside the tunnels after the match without going into too much detail. “What was said in the dressing room stays there. However, I can say that the matter was discussed there without any insults,” he explained.

As far as specifically being referred to as a “soft bunch,” Willenborg said that he was only made aware of that term retrospectively and he also felt that Nagelsmann’s public apology was half-hearted. “He didn’t say it (“soft bunch”) directly to us referees. I only found out about it in the media. Often the reference to emotions is simply an excuse for your own misconduct,” he said.

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