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Cologne change mind over controversial Dortmund goal protest

Berlin (AFP) – Cologne have made a U-turn on plans to lodge an official protest to the German Football Association (DFB) about a controversial goal in their 5-0 drubbing at Borussia Dortmund, the club said on Tuesday.

The Bundesliga strugglers said they 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 are 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 it’s development.”

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