VAR controversy enrages Eintracht Frankfurt chief: 'This is no longer my football'
The German FA (DFB) experienced another controversy related to the use of the video assistant referee (VAR) on Tuesday, with Eintracht Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic saying after his side's DFB Pokal semifinal against Schalke that "this is no longer my football."
Frankfurt reached their second consecutive DFB Pokal final in Berlin, where they will face Bayern Munich, by defeating Schalke 1-0 after Luka Jovic scored with his heel following a corner in the 75th minute.
But with only nine minutes remaining, and 33 seconds after coming on as a substitute, Frankfurt's Gelson Fernandes was sent off following a VAR intervention. The midfielder had been booked for a strong challenge on Leon Goretzka then was dismissed after a touchline review by referee Robert Hartmann upgraded it to a red card.
"A yellow card would have been totally fine here," Bobic told broadcaster ARD in a postgame interview, adding that he could not understand why the foul was reviewed by the VAR in the first place. "This is no longer my football."
Bobic also said that during the match, he said "a few nice words" to Lutz-Michael Frohlich, the VAR project head of the DFB.
The controversy continued later in the game as Schalke attacker Franco Di Santo appeared to have scored the equaliser four minutes into added time when he fired a shot after taking the ball down with his chest.
However, Hartmann, sensing a hand ball by Di Santo, had already blown the whistle, thus making it impossible for the VAR to intervene.
"Handball? Outrageous!" Di Santo told reporters following the match, with Goretzka saying: "I can't understand why the referee does not wait that second until the ball crosses the line. VAR was made for such situations."
And Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco said: "Franco did not play the ball with his arm. Our problem was that the referee stopped play, and VAR could not review it. But it's not the ref's fault. We are at fault because we did not score a goal before."
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.