German soccer referee Felix Brych is among the 91 referees who will make up the officiating crews at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Brych booked his ticket to Brazil despite a major botched call in the Bundesliga.
Felix Brych's wrongly-awarded goal in a Bundesliga match earlier this season was a serious blunder that caused an uproar in German soccer, but it did not deter FIFA on Wednesday from nominating Brych to the team of officials who will ref the games of the 2014 World Cup.
The tournament in Brazil will mark Brych's first World Cup, but he previously officiated at games during the 2012 London Olympics and last year's Confederation Cup in Brazil.
Infamous phantom goal
Since 2004, Brych has been the referee in 171 Bundesliga matches, but a match between Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim on October 18 of last year is one that stands out in his career. In the game, Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling headed the ball toward the goal, and when the ball landed in the back of the net, Brych awarded a goal.
Video replays, however, showed that the ball had passed through a hole in the side of the net rather than crossing the goal line. Despite protests from Hoffenheim, and Brych's later admission that the goal should not have been awarded, the goal stood and Leverkusen won the game 2-1.
Stark stays home
Brych will be joined in Brazil by two assistants, Mark Borsch und Stefan Lupp. They are one of 25 trios of referees who will be joined by eight supporting refereeing pairs from 43 countries for a total of 91 refs.
Wolfgang Stark, who represented German refs at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and the European Championship in 2012, was not among the refs nominated to go to Brazil. England's Howard Webb – who was criticized for letting the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands get out of hand – has been called back to ref in Brazil this summer.
The World Cup in Brazil is scheduled from June 12 to July 13. Before the tournament begins, the referees are to take part in three preparatory seminars.
mz/hc (dpa, SID)