Bundesliga professionals in the district league game: Stach runs far too little – sport

Bundesliga professionals in the district league game: Stach runs far too little – sport

Almost 88 minutes had been played in the Bundesliga match between Mainz 05 and SC Freiburg last weekend when Mainz’s Anton Stach, 24, tried to tackle again in his own half. He won the ball and was about to counterattack when referee Bastian Dankert blew his whistle. Free kick Freiburg. Teammate Anthony Caci saw yellow for complaining, some of the Mainz fans sang rudely about Bastian Dankert. And Anton Stach?

He sank to the ground in disbelief, but refrained from confronting the referee directly and accepted the decision dutifully. The two-time national player may have guessed what it would have looked like if he had messed with the referee in that game of all times. Because less than a week later he slipped into the role of game master himself in Nierstein. In the district league game of the local VfR against TSV Mommenheim, Anton Stach decided on duels, handballs and offside positions for half a time. Nils Petersen from Freiburg took over the second 45 minutes.

“There’s usually a lot of bang here,” warned Kisanet, a young local referee who promoted refereeing ahead of the derby and demonstrated the professional use of yellow and red cards to primary school-aged fans. He knows the league and has already whistled here himself. For a baptism of fire it is not an easy task.

However, his cards were to remain the only ones shown in Nierstein that day. Because Anton Stach in particular showed a generous line from the start in the first half. But while he tended to apply Bundesliga standards when evaluating duels, he adapted to the eight-league cliché when it came to running work and rarely left the middle circle. “It runs far too little,” was the verdict of an amateur referee who had traveled all the way from Stuttgart.

“I’m here because of Deniz,” he explained: “A great guy and a role model for every young referee.” Deniz, that’s Deniz Aytekin, two-time referee of the year, who also came to Nierstein this Saturday afternoon to support the two Bundesliga professionals from the sidelines with a headset. “The real heroes are in the amateur leagues,” Aytekin had said beforehand, “I’m right there with everything that supports them.” Like this game in the eighth division, which took place a few hours before the national team’s international match against Peru and was intended to mark the start of the “Year of the Referees” proclaimed by the DFB with as much publicity as possible.

There are only 50,000 active referees in Germany – ten years ago there were 70,000

A good dozen camera teams and over 1000 spectators found their way to the district sports facility in Nierstein. The association’s head of department, Moiken Wolk, explained the necessity of the action at a press conference earlier this week: “The loss of referees has progressed enormously.” There are currently only around 50,000 active referees in Germany, ten years ago this number was over 70,000: “The refereeing has an image problem.”

The main reasons are a lack of appreciation and disrespect – from the Bundesliga to amateur operations, on and off the pitch. A particularly ugly example of this was recently offered by the Rheinhessen district league, in which Anton Stach and Nils Petersen referee a game. A good month ago, the referee Josip Patht stopped a game there because a spectator allegedly insulted him in a racist way: “Foreigners like you deserve a headshot,” the man is said to have said. The case is now before the court.

In addition to verbal attacks on referees, physical attacks are not uncommon. In a recent DFB survey, half of the referees surveyed said they had experienced violence against themselves or a colleague. Aytekin can also tell such a story from his time in the amateur leagues: “The game ended 15:1 and afterwards a player kicked me because he thought he had lost the game because I made a wrong decision.”

Deniz Aytekin praises Nils Petersen’s “running and switching game”

For an expense allowance that often just about covers the fuel costs for the journey, fewer and fewer want to do that. More referees are leaving each year. In Nierstein, on the other hand, it was mostly quiet on and off the pitch. Whether this was due to the “faultless performance” (Aytekin) of the one-day referees or the possibly somewhat intimidating backdrop could not be finally clarified. The clear result of 6:0 (3:0) probably took some of the edge off the derby, which was otherwise so passionate.

Bundesliga pros at the district league game: Anton Stach (centre) also whistled on the day - the Mainz pro did his job reasonably confidently.

Anton Stach (centre) also whistled that day – the Mainz professional did his job reasonably confidently.

(Photo: Uwe Anspach/dpa)

The biggest annoyance among the defeated guests from Mommenheim was Anton Stach’s missed offside whistle after a good 30 minutes, which made the second goal of the day possible. “But the assistant has to wave,” the Stuttgart referee acquitted the professional soccer player of guilt. In any case, Stach confidently moderated the complaints from Mommenheim. Nils Petersen’s performance in the second round was also sovereign. “The running and switching game was very elegant,” Deniz Aytekin praised the performance of the Freiburg center forward, 34, who said after his performance: “The game got me hooked.”

To the football In any case, he did not want to rule out being retained by refereeing after his career. Anton Stach, on the other hand, said: “I feel more comfortable running towards the ball than constantly avoiding it.” One would have liked to have asked the two amateur referees for their final conclusion after the final whistle, but they were already on the road again.

After all, both still have to whistle this weekend. Without camera teams, without faces from the Bundesliga, in front of not quite 1000 spectators and for a fairly small expense allowance. Just like every weekend.

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