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Feb 4, 2014

DFB criticises controversial ref decision

Nurnberg lifted themselves out of the Bundesliga bottom three on Sunday with a come-from-behind victory over Hertha Berlin.

The German Football Association (DFB) has stated that referee Michael Weiner was wrong to go back on his decision to hand out a red card and award a penalty during Nurnbeg’s controversial 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin on Sunday.

With just two minutes remaining in the Bundesliga clash, it looked like Hertha were going to equalise when Ronny looped a shot towards goal from 30 yards, only for Ondrej Petrak to keep the ball out with his hand. The referee's whistle sounded before Adrian Ramos converted the rebound, and he then showed the Nurnberg defender a red card while pointing to the spot.

Weiner, though, then consulted with his assistant, who said Ramos had been offside from Ronny's original shot and that the play should therefore have been stopped before Petrak handled the ball.

The official then took back both the penalty and the red card, only to award a spotkick at the other end, with Josip Drmic stepping up to convert and seal a 3-1 win for his side.

However, in an unprecedented case, the DFB on Monday said that Weiner in fact made the wrong decision to take back both the penalty and the red card. 

The governing body released a statement on its official website, citing its “referee-portal” -- an internal platform used to evaluate referee performances -- to prove its point.

“The assessment of the situation was not right,” the statement read. “There is no battle for the ball. No player has the chance to get involved into the situation with the No. 31/N [Petrak]. The contact between GK/N [Schaefer] and the No.20/H [Ramos] is no battle for the ball, with both players not being able to take part in the situation, and it was no foul by No.20/H either. Had No.31/N [Petrak] not played the ball with his hands, the ball would have ended in a goal and would have been a goal according to the rules.”

The award-winning German referee podcast Collinas Erben moved to back Weiner, though, saying on Twitter that a “more complex situation for referees is hard to imagine.”

Despite the DFB statement, Hertha will not appeal against the decision, Bild has reported.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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