Hoffenheim ball boy happy with part in goal against Bayern Munich
A 13-year-old ball boy has said it "was a great feeling" to help his club Hoffenheim as they beat Bayern Munich 2-0 on Saturday.
Umut Tohumcu, a Hoffenheim under-14 attacker, was quick to react and became the unlikely hero as he set up the opening goal by throwing the ball to Andrej Kramaric.
Bayern had been the dominant side in the opening stages of their match at Hoffenheim, but were caught off-guard after 27 minutes following Hummels' long clearance of a ball which had already crossed the touchline.
With the ball far away in their own half, Hoffenheim rushed a new ball back into play with the help of the ball boy, and seconds later attacker Mark Uth opened the scoring before adding a second goal after the break.
The ball boy said after the game that he was delighted to be able to help out Hoffenheim.
"I saw that Andrej Kramaric wanted the ball, and I threw it to him straight away," he told Bild. "It was my ball boy debut at the pros. It's a great feeling I could help. It's my pleasure."
While Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann praised the ball boy for his quick reaction, Bayern defender Mats Hummels, who chased after the ball he sent flying into the other half, later cited the German Football Association (DFB) rules and questioned the legitimacy of the goal.
While the DFB has a rule in place stipulating that a referee must only stop play if a second ball on the pitch is disrupting an ongoing situation, there is no such line on how to react when a second ball comes into play before a throw-in or set piece.
"That rule does not fit for this situation," Hummels wrote on Twitter. "Since it doesn't change a thing now, I ask out of sheer curiosity. You live and learn."
However, replying to Collinas Erben (Collina's heirs), a German referee blog, Hummels on Monday said he accepted the decision after reflection.
"So, there is no fitting rule for it? I think it's right to then use this verbalisation and think it's good how it's currently handled," Hummels wrote on Twitter.
In Collinas Erben's weekly column for n-tv.de, a writer for the blog said that for several years now the Bundesliga has used a "multiball system," which ensures games flow better than before when only one designated match ball was in operation.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.