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Germany: 3-year ban for footballer after punching ref

November 22, 2019

Violence against officials has become an increasing problem in German football. Recently, referees in Berlin and Cologne have gone on strike in protest against attacks on those trying to implement the laws of the game.

A referee shows a red card
Image: Imago Images/P. Scheiber

An amateur footballer in Germany was banned for three years on Thursday after he punched a referee in a regional league match last month.

The incident occurred in a match between two 11th-tier sides, FSV Münster and TV Semd, and the game was abandoned in the 85th minute as a result.

Read more: Racial abuse investigated after game suspended

The 22-year-old referee was knocked unconscious by the punch and airlifted via helicopter to a nearby hospital, according to local reports at the time.

No place in football

Thursday's ruling, which also includes a six-month suspension for FSV Münster and a €500 ($553) fine for the club, was the right decision according to Theodor Greiner of the Hessian Football Association (HFV).

"Something like that does not belong on a sports pitch and the three-years are fully justified, it was the highest possible penalty," he told news agency SID.

Earlier this month, Cologne referees went on strike, protesting against growing player violence at local-level matches. The officials cited spitting and racist abuse, as well as physical attacks.

jsi/stb (dpa, AFP, SID)

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