Football bosses to probe ghost goal ‘scandal’

UPDATE: Hoffenheim have called for a replay after losing 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen thanks to a freak 'phantom' goal as the German Football Federation (DFB) prepares to launch an investigation on Monday.

Football bosses to probe ghost goal 'scandal'
Photo: DPA

Leverkusen went top of the Bundesliga on Friday as Stefan Kießling’s 70th-minute winner at Hoffenheim was scored in bizarre circumstances.

Replays showed his header only ended in the back of the net after flying through a hole in the side netting.

In the immediate wake of the goal, Kießling could be seen waving his arms in frustration at what he clearly thought was a miss.

But with the ball in the net, he was quickly congratulated by team mates and match official Dr Felix Brych, a FIFA referee, awarded the goal.

A DFB sports court is set to meet on Monday to investigate the goal with Hoffenheim expected to lodge an appeal while Brych will file a report.

“It’s a scandal. We are definitely going to protest,” Hoffenheim director Alexander Rosen fumed to reporters after the match.

“That was no goal, there are no two ways about it.”

Kießling admitted replays left him him cringing.

“My immediate thought was that the ball didn’t go in,” the 29-year-old Germany striker told Sky Sports.

“Then everyone came to (congratulate) me and I saw the ball was in the net. What was I supposed to do? I was surprised and I told the referee that.

“When I see the pictures of the goal, it’s a shit situation.People are being offensive towards me, but there’s nothing I can do about that.

“I didn’t realise what was going on during the game,” he added.

There is a precedent for this unusual situation after a replay was ordered when Bayern Munich’s Thomas Helmer was credited with a goal which didn’t go in the net in a 2-1 win over Nürnberg in April 1994.

Nürnberg lodged a complaint to the DFB but Bayern won the replay 5-0 on their way to clinching the title.

Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol said he fully expects the game against Leverkusen to be replayed.

“I think we will see that game again, anything else would be a joke,” he said.

“We can’t have a replay for Bayern Munich but not one for Hoffenheim.”

Referee Brych said he had no indication from any of the players that anything was wrong with the goal.

“I had a small amount of doubt but the reaction of the players was clear,” said Brych.

“There was no indication (from them) that it could have been an irregular goal, therefore I awarded it.

“I had an exchange with Stefan Kießling but nobody, including him, told me that it wasn’t a goal.

“The ball was in the net and for everyone on the pitch it was a legitimate goal.”

Having seen Kießling’s goal, ex-Germany defender Helmer, who scored Bayern’s phantom goal 19 years ago, said the match has to be replayed.

“It’s a matter of seconds and you don’t always know for sure how the ball went in,” Helmer told broadcaster Sport1.

“Kießling would also have wondered, what do I do now, what happened?

“And these seconds decide whether he’s a good lad or a bad boy, but the game must be replayed, there can be no question.”

Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia admitted it was not the ideal way for Bayer to go top of the league, although Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund can usurp them later on Saturday.

“During the game, I celebrated, because I saw the ball was in the net,” said the ex-Liverpool defender.

“Of course, it’s a bit unpleasant to win like that. I can’t do much about it, the referee makes the decisions.”

Meanwhile Hamburg remain unbeaten in three league games under new coach Bert van Marwijk after picking up a point in their thrilling 3-3

draw with 10-man VfB Stuttgart on Sunday.

Ex-Holland coach Van Marwijk took charge in September after predecessor Thorsten Fink was fired following a disastrous start to the season, including a 6-2 drubbing at Borussia Dortmund.

Hamburg captain Rafael van der Vaart earned his side a point when he equalized for the third time for the hosts on 67 minutes on Van Marwijk’s home


Stuttgart spent the last six minutes with 10 men after Germany Under-21 centre-back Antonio Ruediger was shown a straight red for hitting Dutch

midfielder Van der Vaart in the ribs.

Wolfsburg moved up to ninth with a 2-1 win at Augsburg with Wolves ex-Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo heading the first-half winner.

On Saturday, European champions Bayern extended their unbeaten Bundesliga run to 34 games by coming from behind for a 4-1 home win over Mainz to go back

to the top.

Having last lost in the German league back in October 2012, Bayern are now just two matches short of equalling Hamburg’s 30-year-old, 36-match streak.

Schalke 04, who host Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday, needed a 91st-minute winner from Roman Neustaedter to seal a 3-2 win at bottom side

Eintracht Braunschweig.

Dortmund, who are at Arsenal on Tuesday in the Champions League, stayed second with a hard-fought 1-0 win at home to Hannover 96.

Germany winger Marco Reus hit the winning penalty after just four minutes when Hannover’s Japan defender Hiroki Sakai fouled left-back Erik Durm in the


Borussia stay second and level on 22 points with third-placed Leverkusen, just a point behind Bayern.

Second-from-bottom Freiburg picked up a point with a goalless draw at Werder Bremen, while Eintracht Frankfurt drew 1-1 at home to Nuremberg.


Follow us on Twitter @thelocalgermany

Like The Local Germany on Facebook

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


28-y/o to be youngest ever Bundesliga coach

Bundesliga side TSG Hoffenheim have announced the appointment of 28-year-old Julian Nagelsmann as their next trainer, making him the youngest manager in Bundesliga history.

28-y/o to be youngest ever Bundesliga coach
Julain Nagelsmann (r) at a Hoffenheim training session. Photo: DPA

Nagelsmann won't take up his position right away, but will be handed the reins at the Sinsheim, Baden-Württemberg-based team by interim manager Huub Stevens at the end of the season, reports Focus.

Stevens has taken up the position on a short term basis after Markus Gisdol was sacked following a string of poor results.

Speaking of the record-breaking new appointment, Hoffenheim sporting director Alexander Rosen said “Julian is still training to be a football coach at the moment.

“It was clear to us that we wanted to give the young man a chance. He's been a coach since 2006 and he fits with our way of doing things.”

“We're convinced of his quality, and by his sense of authority and quality. Julian Nagelsmann is the future, Huub Stevens is the present.”

Nagelsmann is currently trainer of Hoffenheim's under-19s squad with whom he won the junior German championship last year and whom he took to this year's final of the same competition.

A serious knee injury put an end to Nagelsmann's career at the tender age of 20. But he wouldn't be the only top league coach to have never had a significant playing career.

He can look to the likes of Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger as examples of top level managers who never enjoyed prominence on the pitch.

Hoffenheim's new young schemer can also study the history of the Bundesliga for inspiration. In 2002 Matthias Sammer won the championship with Borussia Dortmund at the age of 34, although he had had a trophy-laden career at club and national level before that.

In Portugal meanwhile Andre Villas Boas won his first trophy with Porto at the age of 32, after joining the club's training department at the age of 16.