German football league to discuss ref row

Bundesliga bosses have responded to criticism of Germany's referees, especially from Bayern Munich's bosses, by organising an open discussion on the subject with figures from the league's top sides.

The German Football Federation (DFB) and the German Football League (DFL) will hold a round-table discussion on March 31 to allow senior figures in the game to voice their concerns after recent criticism of refs by club officials.

Bayern chairman of the board Karl-Heinz Rummennigge has been the loudest critic and slammed Bundesliga referees in February claiming his side is refereed harshly.

He also complained officials are afraid to give decisions which favour the through fear of reprisals from their opponents’ fans.

DFB president Theo Zwanziger hit back insisting such criticism was “unacceptable”.

“I want the round-table to lead to a frank discussion on the circumstances where people comment on the referee’s performance – good or bad,” said Rainer Koch, a DFB vice-president who organised the forum.

“The Federation and the League want to do everything to clear the air on the debate over referees.”

Germany’s elite clubs will be represented by Bayern club manager Uli Hoeness, Werder Bremen director of sport Klaus Allofs, Schalke 04’s Andreas Mueller and Leverkusen’s Rudi Voeller. International referee Herbert Fandel, who was in charge of last year’s. Champions League final, and Anton Nachreiner, president of the DFB’s disciplinary committee, will also be at the meeting which will take place in Munich.