Referee Felix Zwayer has told kicker he stands by his decision to deny Bayern Munich a penalty and a last-ditch chance to equalise in their 3-1 DFB Pokal Final defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt.
With Bayern trailing 2-1 in the final minute of added time, Eintracht’s Kevin-Prince Boateng appeared to foul Javi Martinez in the penalty area.
Zwayer turned down Bayern’s initial penalty appeals but took the opportunity to review his decision.
“I originally decided to give a corner, despite seeing Martinez fall to the ground. However, the challenge looked odd and it wasn’t clear why. Therefore, I decided to consult Video Assistant Bastian Dankert and he told me that TV pictures showed contact and I should look again myself,” Zwayer explained.
Zwayer studied the incident again near the halfway line on a TV screen, but the Berlin-based official stuck with his original decision to the incredulity of the Bundesliga champions.
“I saw there was contact but, in my view, it wasn’t a serious contact since Martinez put the foot that was hit stably on the ground without changing its motion, before lifting his other leg, flying forward and to the ground,” he said.
Asked if the contact was sufficient enough to award a penalty: “Not for me because I could not see via the TV pictures any contact that in my view could have caused Martinez to fall. The impact and effect did not match for me. I did not see any contact on the TV pictures to convince me to change my original perception and decision. Even after two days I stand by this decision.”
To add insult to injury for Bayern, from the resultant corner, Frankfurt immediately broke to score their third goal and put the result beyond doubt. Substitute Mijat Gacinovic sealed the trophy with the last kick of the game on the counter-attack, tapping into an empty net with Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich still chasing the equaliser in attack.
Zwayer added: “Everybody was probably thinking Zwayer will look at the incident and see the contact and give a penalty. But contact is not automatically a punishable offence. You have to continue to assess and make a call on challenges. Often incidents aren’t 100 percent clear, that’s part and parcel of this sport.”
Eintracht coach Niko Kovac admitted that Bayern were deprived of a clear opportunity to make it 2-2 in the final minute.
“Kevin [Prince Boateng] wanted to clear the ball but he makes contact with his [Martinez] foot.”
Asked whether it should have been a penalty: “In my opinion, yes, that was a penalty,” he said.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.