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Sports

Bad sportsmanship in German third division

The first rule of football is to kick the ball out if anyone is injured, but in Germany's third division one team didn't and the other took advantage. Neither head coach was proud of the scene.

Carl Zeiss Jena faced allegations of bad sportsmanship in Germany's third division after their 2-2 draw with SV Meppen on Saturday.

Visitors Meppen were 2-0 up when Sören Eismann controversially pulled one back for Jena.

Eismann's teammate, Julian Günther-Schmidt, went down after a challenge and raised his hand in apparent pain, prompting Meppen midfielder Nico Granatowski to stop the ball and gesture at the injured player.

But Granatowski didn't kick the ball into touch, and the opportunistic Eismann took the ball, burst forward and scored, while Meppen's players watched aghast.

Despite heated discussion and pushing and shoving afterwards, the referee let the goal stand. To add insult to injury, Eismann salvaged a draw with a late equalizer.

"Everyone associated with Jena has to think about whether they can be proud about such a situation," Meppen's head coach Christian Neidhart said. "I'm lost for words. If someone in that situation says they didn't hear or see anything they have to be completely blind or have their eyes closed." Jena's head coach Mark Zimmermann was also "not proud of the situation".

jh/msh (AP, SID)