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German third division side forfeit match after beer thrown at ref

The German FA has ruled that third-division Zwickau FC forfeit a match after a fan threw beer at a referee.

Last month’s game against Rot Weiss Essen at Zwickau Stadium was locked 1-1 at half-time when a home supporter hurled the full beaker of beer at referee Nicolas Winter. 

The referee suspended the game immediately and on Tuesday the German FA ruled the fixture should be considered a 2-0 win for Essen.

A statement read that Zwickau had to ensure “the referee is better protected on the way to the dressing room” and the club “is responsible for their spectators and the fault of supporters is to be attributed to the club.”

Zwickau sit last in the third division, four points from safety, with four matches remaining this season. The three points send Essen six clear of the relegation places. 

Fan treatment of referees has become a flash point in Germany following a number of incidents in recent weeks. 

On Sunday, referee Sascha Stegemann, who failed to award  a penalty in Borussia Dortmund’s 1-1 draw at Bochum on Friday and later apologised, launched a criminal complaint after threats by fans. 

Stegemann said on German TV on Sunday “my family and I were threatened very specifically. I have seen (these threats) myself and have filed a criminal complaint accordingly.”

German tabloid Bild reported Stegemann arrived at the taping of the show on Sunday with a police escort. 

After the draw, which cost Dortmund top spot in the Bundesliga, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke issued a statement saying “threats and hostility would not be tolerated” against match officials.

In relation to the beer-throwing incident, Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel said on Friday “football could learn a thing or two from rugby or handball regarding treatment of match officials”. 

“It’s often not easy for me to tolerate decisions… (but) maybe we need to have clear rules regarding arguing with the referees, in order to strengthen the authority of referees.”

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