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German player praised by opponents for penalty honesty

September 10, 2017

While all eyes were on Bibiana Steinhaus' debut in Berlin, a great example of fair play was on show in Germany's second tier on Sunday. After he was awarded a spot kick, Bochum's captain took an unusual course of action.

2. Bundesliga Darmstadt vs Bochum Bastians Elfmetersituation
Image: Imago/J. Hübner

At 1-0 down in a match on Sunday, Bochum's captain Felix Bastians showed all of the traits a team wants in a captain - and something no-one would expect.

Shortly after the hour mark, Bastians broke into the box and went to ground. Referee Benedikt Kempkes pointed to the spot and was quickly surrounded. Darmstadt's players demanded Kempkes ask Bastians about the 'foul' and the captain said he felt there hadn't been enough contact. Kempkes withdrew the penatly.

"The referee asked me if he had touched me, he hadn't. He stuck his foot out and when I'm at full speed that's enough sometimes. But I told him there wasn't any contact and that's why he correctly didn't award the penalty," Bastians told Sky.

2. Bundesliga Darmstadt vs Bochum Bastians Elfmetersituation
Image: Imago/J. Hübner

"It's not a guarantee - there's a lot at stake. It happened like this: His foot came out, I'm at full speed and that's why I fell. But he didn't touch me. I think we should be honest. We, as a club stand for respect amongst one another and with one another. We have a duty as role models. That's why it was obvious to me, to honestly admit the truth - if he asked me. If he hadn't, I'd happily have scored the penalty, that is also clear," Bastians told Hessenschau.

Darmstadt head coach Torsten Frings said: "I take my hat off to Felix Bastians. A huge compliment to him. You see that very rarely in pro football."

Despite his team trailing at the time of the incident, Bochum coach Ismail Atalan was proud of his skipper.

"We tell our players to treat one another with respect. I didn't tell them to indicate to referees when they've made mistakes but they're all adults and they should show their character. I take my hat off to him. Most would do that at 4-0 or 5-0 up, but not in such a situation," Atalan said..

In the end, Bochum came back to win 2-1. "I'm happy that honesty was rewarded with a win," Bastians told Sky afterwards.