DFB referee boss Lutz Michael Fröhlich has strongly condemned a death threat against referee Martin Speckner. “Such behavior is outrageous, disturbing and completely unacceptable,” said Fröhlich, according to a statement from the German Football Association on Sunday.

Speckner was in charge of FC Ingolstadt’s third division game against Arminia Bielefeld on Friday evening and then received an email with threats and insults. “We take such threats very seriously, even if they are made anonymously over the Internet,” said Fröhlich.

According to the DFB, the anonymous sender explicitly criticized the length of injury time in which Ingolstadt equalized to make it 1-1. DFB Schiri GmbH reported the incident to the Central Office for Combating Internet Crime (ZIT) in order to file a criminal complaint. “Some people seem to have no boundaries or inhibitions,” said Fröhlich. “Where have we come when referees are threatened with murder? There must be consequences, including criminal ones.”

Fröhlich also said: “Insults and threats against referees are not harmless folklore, but attacks on people. Nothing can justify them.” Referees are “not fair game, but people, athletes and a natural part of the football family.”