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Referee apologizes after awarding Bayern penalty kick for Vidal dive

Germany Soccer Bundesliga

Team Bayern gather after losing the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and FSV Mainz 05 at the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich, Germany, Wednesday, March 2, 2016. Mainz won 2-1. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)


A German referee has publicly apologized for wrongly awarding Bayern Munich a penalty kick in their DFB-Pokal semifinal win over Werder Bremen.

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With Bayern leading the match 1-0 in the 71st minute, referee Tobias Stieler pointed to the spot when Arturo Vidal went down in the box. Thomas Muller converted the penalty as Bayern won the match 2-0.

However, replays showed that Vidal clearly took a dive on the play, with no contact made on the Chilean international by his Bremen defender.

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In an unusual yet very respectable move, the official spoke with German sports magazine Kicker after the match, saying “It happened so quickly and I was in a good position. I saw contact, but there wasn’t any. I’m sorry.”

Officiating has been a major talking point throughout Europe this season, as many questionable decisions have led to calls for more video review and assistance for referees. In England, officials do not talk to the media after matches, leaving the reasons for their calls unexplained.