Cologne changes mind over Dortmund protest

AFP
Cologne said it will not contest the final result of the Dortmund game and will now simply ask the DFB's refereeing department for clarification of the rules.
AFP

FC Cologne has made a U-turn on plans to lodge an official protest to the German football association (DFB) about a controversial goal in its 0-5 drubbing at Borussia Dortmund, the club said on Tuesday.

The Bundesliga struggler said it will not contest the final result of the game and will now simply ask the DFB's refereeing department for clarification of the rules.

"FC Cologne is of the opinion there is a need for legal clarity at the controversial points," said a statement.

After Sunday's defeat, Cologne coach Peter Stoeger and general manager Joerg Schmadtke were livid with referee Patrick Ittrich for allowing a controversial Dortmund goal just before half-time that made it 2-0 at the break.

In the build-up, Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos pushed Cologne defender Dominique Heintz, who knocked into goalkeeper Timo Horn, which caused him to fumble the ball from which Sokratis scored.

Ittrich allowed the goal to stand after consulting with the video assistant referee (VAR), but replays showed the goal was scored after he had blown his whistle for the foul, which is against the rules.

While Cologne fumed at the decision to allow the goal to stand, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke accused the visitors of being bad losers given the margin of the scoreline.

On Tuesday, Stoeger welcomed the softened stance.

"I think this is the right way to go," said the Austrian, whose side is bottom of the Bundesliga table after four straight defeats.

"It was right to communicate a sharp complaint, but as a supporter of the video assistant referee, I have to say that if one wants to take it further, we have to point at problem areas.

"It's conducive to its development."

Both the Bundesliga and Italy's Serie A are trialling the use of VARs this season in co-operation with soccer's rule-making body the International Football Association Board.

The IFAB is expected to decide in March whether to permit VARs on a permanent basis. Global soccer body FIFA is hoping to use them at the World Cup in Russia next year.

AFP

Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis celebrates scoring the second goal against FC Cologne with his teammates during their German Bundesliga match at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, western Germany, on September 17, 2017. Dortmund won 5-0.

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