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German Referee Admits to Costly Error
ESPN Soccernet, December 11th, 2012 12:35PM

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German Bundesliga referee Wolfgang Stark admitted to getting a key decision wrong during Borussia Dortmund’s home loss to VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday, a loss that effectively ended the defending Dormund’s hopes of retaining its title. League leader Bayern Munich, which won 2-0 away to Augsberg, is now 14 points ahead of the defending Bundesliga champion.

After taking an early lead through a Marco Reus free kick, Stark wrongly awarded a penalty kick and sent off Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer for blocking a shot toward goal with what the referee thought was his hand. Replays showed that Schmelzer actually blocked it with his knee. Wolfsburg went on to win the game 3-2.

"On the field, it was clear for me: handball on the goal line, and that leads to a red card and a penalty,” Stark said. "But looking at the TV pictures you can see it was not handball. It was an error of perception, a clear mistake by me, and I am sorry about it."

After the game, Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said, "I cannot rate this match after minute 35. I am very pleased with our performance, but it's a brutal result. We have the return leg in Wolfsburg and we will get those points back."

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