BERLIN (AFP) – Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham risks being punished by the German Football Federation after claiming costly decisions by the referee in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat by Bayern Munich were to be expected given he was implicated in the worst match-fixing scandal in German history.
The 18-year-old England international was furious the referee Felix Zwayer had not awarded a penalty to his side in the second-half before giving one to their opponents for a Mats Hummels handball.
Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski tucked it away to extend his side’s lead at the top of the table to four points over Dortmund.
“You can look at a lot of the decisions in the game. If you give a referee who has match-fixed before the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?” Bellingham told Norwegian channel Viaplay.
Bellingham was referring to Zwayer’s alleged role as a 23-year-old linesman in the scandal involving referee Robert Hoyzer.
The latter confessed to taking Croatian mafia money in return for affecting the outcome of German Cup and lower division matches including awarding penalties for fictitious offences.
Hoyzer was jailed and Zwayer suspended for six months for keeping silent though he knew what the referee was doing and for accepting EUR300.
No definitive link between the match-fixing and Zwayer has ever been established and he has always protested his innocence.
Bellingham could face a heavy punishment as the federation in the past have taken a dim view of referees being subjected to what they see as defamatory statements or accusations they judge offensive.
Bellingham was not alone in questioning Zwayer’s decisions.
Dortmund coach Marco Rose was shown a red card after arguing with Zwayer over his awarding of the penalty 12 minutes from time.