By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

German FA concedes mistakes on four handball penalties

Germany's FA has published a self-critique citing four incorrect decisions regarding handball penalties on matchdays 5 and 6.
DFB official Peter Sippel lead the publication of a report on Wednesday in which the German FA admitted that four cases involving handball penalties over the last two matchdays were incorrectly judged both the match official on the pitch and the VAR team in the Kölner Keller. In presenting the report, Sippel reiterated the three criteria for awarding a handball penalty.

These include deliberate movement toward the ball by a player's arm, unnatural enlargement of the body when attempting to block a shot, and any handball (intentional or not) in the lead up to a goal. With these three criteria in mind, Sippel conceded that the following incidents were not properly assessed.

I. Dortmund vs. Hoffenheim, Matchday 5

TSG defender Ozan Kabak stuck out an arm to block Marius Wolf's cross in the 32nd minute. The scene was reviewed by match official Daniel Siebert and the VAR team. No penalty was awarded. According to Sippel, this should have resulted in a penalty as Kabak's arm was clearly intentional.

II. Augsburg vs Bremen, Matchday 6

The penalty awarded by match official Martin Pedersen in stoppage time (ultimately missed by Bremen striker Marvin Ducksch) was given falsely. Ducksch had played the ball off of Augsburg defender Maximilian Bauer moments before in open play. Sippel stated that Bauer had made no unnatural movements towards the ball and that the VAR team should have intervened to overturn the decision.

III. Hertha vs. Leverkusen, Matchday 6

Weighing in on one of the more controversial scenes of the weekend, Sippel conceded that hosts Hertha should have been awarded a penalty in the 82nd minute when Leverkusen defender Odilon Kossonou handled a Jean-Paul Boëtius effort. Hertha trainer Sandro Schwarz was quite vehement in his criticism after the match, saying that the VAR team should have compelled match official Benjamin Brand to have another look.

Brand also commented on the scene after the full-time whistle, saying that he would not have awarded a penalty even after reviewing the images. Sippel declared that Kossounou's arm was nevertheless definitely a punishable offense. Sippel noted that Ivorian had deliberately made himself bigger to block the ball with his arm.

IV. Köln vs. FC Union Berlin, Matchday 6

In another scene involving a penalty that was ultimately missed (Union's Jordan Siebatcheu failed to convert against Marvin Schwäbe in the 10th) Sippel said that match official Benjamin Cortus incorrectly awarded a handball penalty when Union's Robin Knoche headed a ball onto Luca Kilian's arm in the 8th. Sippel noted that the Köln defender made no unnatural movements with his arm.

The scene was checked by the VAR team in the Kölner Keller, but did not compel Cortus to take another look. In the interest of "achieving as uniform interpretation of this rule as possible", Cortus noted that the VAR team should have intervened in this case too.

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