Ref ‘not currently active’ after Bellingham’s ‘match-fixing’ barb

Berlin (AFP) – The German referee, whose appointment to handle the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich last month was strongly criticised by England midfielder Jude Bellingham, is not currently active, it was revealed Sunday.

Felix Zwayer, 40, has “put himself on holiday since his last match” which took place five days after he was the subject of Bellingham’s stinging criticism.

“At the moment, he (Zwayer) is not active as a referee,” Lutz Michael Froehlich, who is in charge of referees in the Bundesliga, told Bild-TV.

“That was determined by him,” added Froehlich, who said Zwayer is staying away from refereeing “until further notice”. 

“Felix Zwayer wants to sort himself out mentally and reflect on the events in the aftermath of the match in Dortmund.”

Dortmund star Bellingham was fined 40,000 euros ($45,000) by the German Football Association (DFB) for slamming Zwayer in a post-match interview.

The 18-year-old England midfielder was fuming when Zwayer awarded Bayern a penalty for a Mats Hummels handball, which resulted in the winning goal.

Moments earlier, Zwayer had waved on play and refused Dortmund a penalty after Bayern defender Lucas Hernandez appeared to foul Marco Reus in the area.

“You can look at a lot of the decisions in the game. If you give a referee who has match-fixed before the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?” Bellingham told Norwegian channel Viaplay.

He was referring to Zwayer’s alleged role as a 23-year-old linesman in a 2005 scandal involving referee Robert Hoyzer, who was later jailed after confessing he took money from the Croatian mafia to influence match results.

Zwayer was suspended for six months for keeping silent though he knew what the referee was doing and for accepting 300 euros ($340).

It was never proven whether Zwayer was directly involved in manipulating match results.

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