Jude Bellingham is the subject of a criminal case complaint following his comments about referee Felix Zwayer who officiated the very controversial Der Klassiker last weekend which ended in a defeat for Borussia Dortmund at the Signal Iduna Park.
The German Football Association have also begun investigations into the 18-year-old midfielder’s comments which called out the body for putting Felix Zwayer – who was involved in a German Bundesliga II match-fixing scandal over a decade ago – in charge of a high-profile game like Der Klassiker.
Borussia Dortmund felt hard-done-by when referee Felix Zwayer turned down their appeals for a penalty to award Bayern Munich a chance to break the 2-2 deadlock in the 77th minute of the match.
They felt even worse after their claims for a penalty a few minutes later was ignored by the referee, with the Robert Lewandowski 77th minute penalty proving to be the match-winner for Bayern Munich, who have now increased their lead over second-placed Dortmund by four points.
Emotions ran high during and after the match, and the young Englishman questioned the appointment of Zwayer, who was banned for six months in 2005 for his part in a match-fixing scandal, to officiant Der Klassiker by the German FA.
The German FA came out with a statement after Jude Bellingham’s comments to journalists on their official website. The statement reads: “The control committee of the German Football Association (DFB) has initiated an investigation against Jude Bellingham.
“After the Bundesliga match against Bayern Munich on Saturday, the Borussia Dortmund player said in a TV interview about referee Felix Zwayer: ‘You are giving a referee who has already fixed matches before the biggest game in Germany. What do you expect?’
“As a first step, Bellingham was written to by the DFB control committee and asked to comment on his statement as soon as possible.
“After the opinion has been submitted and evaluated, the control committee will decide on the further progress of the procedure.”
Bellingham comments reported as criminal complaint; Zwayer defends decisions
Jude Bellingham’s comments are now also reportedly being investigated by the German police after a criminal complaint was filed. The case will be forwarded to the Dortmund public prosecutor’s office who will determine if the 18-yar-old will face any criminal charges later on this week.
Felix Zwayer also went to the media to defend his decisions in the controversial game. The referee spoke to Sky Germany and gave reasons for his calls.
“The situation was a standard corner kick,” Zwayer said. “I see in the game that it’s about a touch by Hummels. The question for me was: Is the arm stretched away from the body or not? In real-time, it was not clear whether his arm was moved towards the ball.
“I checked it with [VAR officials] in Cologne and then the arm position was checked. The video assistant made an assessment for himself and said that Hummels had his arm away from the body in an unnatural position.
“In the end, he clearly deflected the ball with his elbow and I came to the decision that it was a penalty.”
On the Dortmund penalty claims, he said: “It was a contact in the upper body area, which is allowed to happen even at high speed. The situation is not black and white, I decided against the penalty because of my line of sight.”
A former Premier League referee, Dermot Gallagher, defended Zwayer’s decisions as correct. Commenting on Dortmund’s penalty appeal, Gallagher said to Sky Sports News, “I think [the referee] is right. There’s a clash between the players, there’s enough shoulder; I didn’t think it was a penalty.
“The players are alongside each other – I can understand why he didn’t give that. It’s a tangle.”
On the penalty awarded to Bayern Munich, Gallagher added: “The arm’s up. If the arm’s above the shoulder and the ball strikes the arm, a penalty can be given. The referee has been sent to the screen because the VAR has picked it up, he looks at the screen and there’s no doubt what happened. He’s got to give a penalty.”
Simon Jordan: Bellingham needs to be put in his place
Former Crystal Palace owner, businessman and pundit, Simon Jordan, has weighed in on the issue on talkSPORT’s latest podcast. Jordan has said that Jude Bellingham “needs to be put in his place”for the comments he made about referee Felix Zwayer.
Jordan insists that the teenager was out of line for pulling on events that happened over 16 years ago to further tarnish the referee’s name because he was angry.
“People are going to think I’m mean spirited and it’s an agenda, but sometimes these players get a little bit ahead of themselves,” he told talkSPORT.
“They are the lunatics and shouldn’t be running the asylum and this is an element where players are thinking they can say what they want and get away with it.
“He shouldn’t be talking like this.
“He’s well within his gift to say that’s poor refereeing but when you start to move into territory on something you clearly don’t know about and someone else has fed you that information, you can hide behind the fact he’s 18 years of age, and get away with it as a result of that but, really and truly, he needs to be put in his place here.”