VfB Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat, a highly respected football administrator in the Bundesrepublik, also weighed in on the controversy surrounding Silas Wamangituka's goal on Monday.
|Silas Wamangituka.||Photo: Jeollo, Vfb-exklusiv.de, CC BY-SA 3.0|
Around the same time Silas Wamangitka took to social media to explain his actions late in a weekend fixture against Werder Bremen, the sporting director responsible for bringing him to Swabia also defended his player.
"It's not as if he held up the ball four times, completed a bicycle kick, or did the moonwalk," Mislintat explained in an interview, "He simply slowed his pace down a bit. I find accusations [of unsportsmanlike conduct] borderline at best."
The veteran football executive recalled the time Karl-Heinz Rummenigge juggled the ball in front of an empty net against Club Brugge before heading in to complete a 4-0 rout in an 1981 fixture. At the time, Rummenigge received goal-of-the-month honors.
Mislintat also spoke of the Congolese attacker's personality. "Silas is a quiet and pleasant fellow, both as a footballer and private person," he noted, "He's never aggressive or abrasive, especially not towards the referee."
German footballing magazine Kicker also published a piece on the incident, noting that the only justification for booking Wamangituka would have come from him showing aggression toward Davie Selke.
If match official Frank Willenborg had deemed the Stuttgart player's actions prior to the goal to be egregiously unsportsmanlike, then, according to the rulebook, the goal would have to have been annulled.
Since Wamangituka showed no signs of forceful behavior when Selke confronted him, he technically shouldn't have been booked at all.
Mislintat, for his part, expressed understanding for Selke's actions as well. "I find Davie's reaction on the pitch to be understandable," he said, "After the game, with some distance and a reduced pulse rate, he'll reflect on it differently."