Sporting gesture

Cologne - It would appear that fair play and the Bundesliga go hand-in-hand after the latest episode of sportsmanship in Germany’s top flight.

On Matchday 6, SC Paderborn’s displayed remarkable honesty and solidarity for a fellow professional by advising the referee to rescind a yellow card shown to an opposing player in their 2-1 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
It looked as though Kutschke’s heels had been clipped by Gladbach’s FIFA World Cup-winning midfielder in their clash at the Benteler-Arena last Saturday, for which referee Marco Fritz showed the 23-year-old a yellow card. Kramer was incredulous and TV replays showed there had been no contact between the two players. The official nevertheless took no notice of his protests, until Kutschke stepped in to corroborate his opponent’s explanation.

“I went over and told the ref that I’d slipped and fallen to the ground and that Kramer hadn’t fouled me. He then took the yellow card back,” said Kutschke. He was given a handshake by the referee for his honesty, as well as a glowing endorsement of his character from Gladbach head coach Lucien Favre: “Class, absolute class.”

Nothing new in Germany

The incident evoked strong memories of last season’s meeting between 1. FC Nürnberg and SV Werder Bremen, in which Aaron Hunt, then at Bremen, persuaded the referee to reverse his decision to award Werder a penalty after admitting he hadn’t been touched while charging into the 18-yard box. In the same game, Hiroshi Kiyotake, now at Hannover 96, also drew praise from all quarters after overruling the officials’ decision to award Nürnberg a corner after he knocked the ball out of play.