Germany: Bundesliga
2 - 1
(1 - 1)
S. Guirassy (15), W. Anton (90)
F. Niederlechner (4)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Augsburg actors seethe at missed handball penalty in Stuttgart match

FC Augsburg trainer Enrico Maaßen, club sporting director Stefan Reuter, and squad striker Florian Niederlechner all had strong words for match official Tobias Stieler and the VAR team in charge of their match following their 1-2 loss in Stuttgart. 
As hard as the DFB has worked to put the issue to rest, it looks to be the case that the handball rules will once again prove a major talking point in German footballing circles come Monday morning. Reflecting upon their last-minute loss, Augsburg's trainer, sporting director, and lead striker weren't in a generous mood when it came to a penalty that should have been awarded in the 57th minute of the match against Stuttgart.

Mads Pedersen sent a cross into the box. FCA substitute attacker Lukas Petkovic's attempt to further the ball saw progress halted by the outstretched arm of VfB wingback Borna Sosa. Referee Tobias Stieler allowed play to go on. The VAR team in Germany's "Kölner Keller" declined to overturn the ruling on the field. The Augsburg trio speaking to the press afterwards thought the clearly articulated rules had been broken.

"Clearly, the player has his back to the ball," FCA trainer Enrico Maaßen, "But, for me, it's an unnatural hand movement; a widening of the body area. The referee had a good game overall. This is more of an issue for the video assistant. But for me, a clear penalty."

"His arm had no business up there," sporting director Stefan Reuter added, "Everyone who has ever played knows that he does that deliberately. That needs to be punished."

"This year there have been a great many unfortunate actions by the video assistant," Reuter continued "For me, it's quite crucial that they find a consistent line. If we have so many discussions with the video assistant, we have to think about how we can improve it."

Striker Florian Niederlechner expressed roughly the same sentiments.

"Everyone saw it," Niederlechner fumed, "Only the video referee didn't see it. Every week there are discussions. Everything's just so lousy."

For his part, VfB interim trainer Michael Wimmer did concede that the call could have gone either way. Speaking at the post-match presser that marked his third win in charge of the Swabians, the 42-year-old admitted "One can't complain if a penalty was given there."

Euro 2024

Match days

Long reads

Exclusive interviews

Team News

DFB Pokal - Kaiserslautern - Leverkusen