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Covid and the DFB-Pokal

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

The final half of the third round of the DFB-Pokal took place last night and clubs who were knocked out of the competition are already counting the cost. On Tuesday night SC Paderborn, currently in the Bundesliga.2 having been relegated last season, were beaten by Borussia Dortmund after a controversial extra time winner by Erling Haaland. Although standing in an offside position when the ball was played through to him, a Paderborn defender made an attempt at the ball, thereby playing him onside.

BVB saw out the rest of the game and won 3-2, leaving Paderborn’s manager Stefan Baumgart furious at both the decision not to rule out the goal, but also that the referee did not review the incident on the pitch side monitor, The DFB later clarified that both the ruling was correct, that it was a valid goal, and that the referee was right to be guided in the matter by the VAR official rather than review it himself.

Aside from the sporting frustration at the loss though, Baumgart’s post match interview, in which he heavily criticised the referee, also alluded to the cost of what he perceived had been a failure on the part of the official. “We are talking about two million Euros here. We aren’t a big company, every single Mark is important to us. And when someone comes across like that, then I find it very arrogant.

Whilst fans remain unable to attend matches, clubs are coming under increasing financial strain and cup runs, which may previously been a “nice to have” represent a means of considerably shoring up cash flow. This is particularly applicable to clubs in the lower divisions who do not benefit from the Bundesliga TV broadcasting deal.

The draw for the quarter finals will feature two Bundesliga.2 clubs, both of whom advanced on penalties. SSV Jahn Regensburg came from 2-0 down against 1.FC Köln to level the tie and take it to extra time, before going on to win it 4-3 in the shoot out. Holstein Kiel, conquerors of Bayern München in the previous round, drew 1-1 with SV Darmstadt, then held their nerve to secure a 7-6 victory on penalties. Both these teams, as well as Regionalliga side RW Essen, will see the massive benefit of the additional €2 million prize money for winning this week’s matches.

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