Dortmund unhappy as Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery escapes red card
Borussia Dortmund have reacted with disbelief after Franck Ribery escaped with a booking after twice striking Felix Passlack with his arm in Bayern Munich's 2-0 German Super Cup victory on Sunday.
Ribery, 33, appeared to hit Dortmund right-back Passlack with his elbow twice in succession when the 18-year-old tracked the Bayern winger back into his own half with just under half an hour played at the Westfalenstadion.
Referee Tobias Welz halted the match and discussed the matter with his assistants before awarding Bayern a free kick for Passlack's attempt to pull Ribery to the ground and booking both players. Bayern midfielder Xabi Alonso also received a caution for protesting.
Speaking to reporters following the defeat, Passlack said: "He lashed out with his arms. It was a clear red."
Dortmund left-back Marcel Schmelzer began by praising Passlack for frustrating Ribery.
"There could not be a better compliment for Felix Passlack when such a player commits violent conduct," the 28-year-old said.
However, he too expressed frustration that Ribery had avoided a red card, and referred to May's 2016 DFB Pokal final, when the former France international appeared to gouge Gonzalo Castro's eye, and the 2013 Champions League final, when he elbowed then Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski.
"It's the third time that he commits violent conduct against one of us," Schmelzer said.
Referees conduct information sessions with Bundesliga clubs at the start of every season to ensure they are up to date on the latest rules and clear on any new directives, and Dortmund's took place on Wednesday.
Schmelzer said: "They told us that when a hand hits the face it's a red card, and I don't understand why that's not happening yet again."
Castro, who also received a booking during his clash with Ribery in the DFB Pokal final, echoed Schmelzer's comments.
"It's always the same," the midfielder said. "They bent our ears for an hour during the recent educational session.
"They always tell us that an elbow is a red card. It was the case again today -- everyone could see it. You shake your head in disbelief, but what can we do about it now?"
Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel was asked if he had experienced deja vu over the incident and replied: "That is exactly what it was, and I judge it to be the same thing as in the cup final.
"You have only to watch the replay, and then there can be no doubt as to how it is to be assessed. The linesman, fourth official and the referee formed a triangle around the scene and were standing a distance of no more than 15 metres away.
"In the cup final, the fourth official had to pull a finger out of Gonzo's eye. The same player, the same action, again today, OK..."
The head of refereeing in Germany, Lutz Michael Frohlich, also felt it could have been worse for Ribery.
"That could quite easily have been a red card," he told sport1.de. "Ribery's reaction was totally exaggerated and he could not have complained about being sent off."
Frohlich acknowledged, though, that the situation would have been difficult to assess in the heat of the moment.
"There's no criticism -- given the speed of the action and how complex it was, it was hard to judge," Frohlich said.
New Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti has already criticised Ribery's conduct this summer after the player was booked for shoving Felipe Melo during an International Champions Cup win over Inter Milan.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.