Jude Bellingham, that 'match fixing' comment, and what happens next | OneFootball

Jude Bellingham, that 'match fixing' comment, and what happens next

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Lewis Ambrose

Borussia Dortmund felt they should have had a penalty that could have seen them go 3-2 up against Bayern Munich on Saturday evening.

A possible foul on Marco Reus wasn’t checked. A possible handball by Mats Hummels at the other end also wasn’t given but was checked  and referee Felix Zwayer pointed to the spot. Bayern went 3-2 up.

With no further goals, Bayern left the Westfalenstadion four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table having already played away against Dortmund, third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, last season’s runners-up RB Leipzig and bogey team Borussia Mönchengladbach.

And Dortmund weren’t happy that the game’s two crucial decisions went against them.

Erling Haaland branded Zwayer “arrogant” for the way he explained his decision not to give a penalty, head coach Marco Rose was sent to the stands, and Reus and Emre Can also voiced their complaints in post-match interviews.

But 18-year-old Jude Bellingham is the player who caught the most attention.

“You give a referee that has match fixed before, the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?” the Englishman asked in a live interview.

The surprising statement refers back to an old scandal in Germany, which saw former referee Robert Hoyzer imprisoned and banned from officiating for life after he confessed to taking bribes to influence a number of matches in the 2. Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and the then-regional German third tier.

Zwayer was one of the officials to raise concerns to the DFB at the time but the investigation discovered that he accepted a €300 bribe from Hoyzer in a game where he acted as an assistant referee.

The man in the middle for Saturday’s game was handed a six-month ban and then returned to officiating.

Dortmund have stood by their player.

“Jude did not insult anyone, but described a fact. I can’t imagine that he will suffer any disadvantages as a result,” chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said.

“The boy is 18, speaking after a heated, emotional game,” sporting director Michael Zorc added.

“He named old facts, he didn’t need to do that.

“But we stand by him. Under criminal law, I don’t see anything problematic.”

Not everyone agrees. The police in Dortmund have confirmed to Sky Sport on Monday that an official complaint has been filed against the midfielder by DFB referee observer Marco Haase, with Bellingham accused of defamation.

That case reportedly stands little chance of holding up but Monday’s edition of kicker claims Bellingham, though most likely to receive a fine, could be handed a six-month ban by the DFB’s own investigation.