Can Bayern Munich refuse to win over Freiburg because of the 12th man?

We often joke that there are twelve people in football, but the joke became a reality today when Bayern Munich met Freiburg at the Europa-Park Stadium. The game was stopped in the 86th minute, when officials noticed that “Bavaria” has an additional player on the field. The game eventually resumed with eight minutes of time added to the clock, but the incident puts an asterisk next to the three points earned by the Bavarians at night.

So what exactly happened?

Here is the full schedule of events as we understand them:

  • In the 85th minute, a double substitution was announced in Bayern Munich. Marcel Sabitzer and Niklas Sule were to replace Kingsley Coman and Quarantine Tolis.
  • The board held by the 4th referee was supposed to display № 11, but instead showed № 29 (which is not worn by any player in Bavaria). Because of this, Kingsley Koman did not know he had been framed and stayed.
  • Somehow both Zabitzer and Sula were allowed to enter the field until only Tolis came out, which led to Bayern temporarily playing with 12 players on the field.
  • The game was stopped after about seventeen to twenty seconds, and the referees noticed an error. Kingsley Coman came out at that moment.
  • The discussion took place between the field referee, the 4th referee, Julian Nagelsman, the Bavarian team manager Kathleen Krueger and others. The game resumed around the 90th minute, adding eight minutes of time. Munich Bayern won 4-1.

Note: “Bayern” led 3-1 before the dispute with the 12th man. With 12 men on the field no goals were scored.

Who said that?

First, we have Julian Nagelsman:

Freiburg coach Christian Streich did not say whether his team would file a complaint, deciding to remain ambiguous in his statement:

However, referee Christian Dingert accused Bayern manager Kathleen Krueger of showing the wrong number to replace the 4th referee:

Note, he did not explain why the 4th judge allowed Marcel Zabitzer to leave without Coman. It does not seem that the refereeing team is not on the sidelines here. Next Dingert said (through @iMiaSanMia):

“It was an absolutely confusing situation. This was a double change compared to Bavaria. Initially, the wrong number was shown on the scoreboard, which is why Koman did not feel that he was being addressed. Therefore, the twelfth player was on the field for a short time.

We noticed this and stopped the game. Then we consulted with each other and continued the game. It annoys us, because, of course, this scene is in the spotlight now. Note this in the match report.

15-16 seconds is a time with twelve players. No goals were scored during this time. Note that everything else will be decided by the DFB.

Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer does not seem to be worried, believing that victory will count:

What’s next?

Freiburg has until Monday to appeal to the DFB regarding the results of the game. Here’s what the IFAB Rules say about having extra players on the field:

When a team official, substitute, substitute or removed player or external agent enters the field of play, the referee must:

1. Stop the game only if the game is interrupted
2. Remove the person when the game stops
3. take appropriate disciplinary action

When the game was stopped and the obstacle was:

1. A team official, substitute, substitute or removed player, the game begins with a direct free kick or penalty
2. an external agent, the game resumes with the ball thrown

If the ball goes into goal and an obstacle does not prevent the defending player from playing the ball, the goal is awarded if the ball hits the goal (even if there has been contact with the ball), unless the intervention was by the attacking team.

According to this, the referee correctly followed the laws and the result of the game must be preserved. However, this is a rather unprecedented incident, so who knows how the DFB can run.

In the Bundesliga this season we have seen games lost by teams. VfL Bochum have been forced to abandon a recent game against Borussia Monchengladbach after an assistant referee was knocked down by a glass of beer during the game. The match was stopped and Gladbach won 2-0. Meanwhile at DFB Pokal Wolfsburg have been kicked out after coach Mark van Bommel used too many substitutions against Preussen Munster.

Could something similar happen to Bavaria? Probably not. Based on how the game went and from the short period of time that “Bayern” played with 12 men, the result should be confirmed. However, now it all depends on the DFB. Their decision will determine whether Bayern Munich will receive all three points in this game, or will be punished in another way.

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