Former referee Jochen Drees defended the intervention of the video assistant in the debate over the red card for Mats Hummels in Borussia Dortmund’s Bundesliga game against RB Leipzig. In terms of rules, the decisive factor is where the first contact occurred that caused the attacker to fall, said the 53-year-old responsible for the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) area. “This was clearly the case in the present duel between Hummels and Openda shortly before the penalty area, so that the correct decision was a direct free kick and a red card because an obvious goal chance was thwarted,” Drees told “Kicker” (Monday).

National soccer player Hummels fouled Lois Openda in the 2-3 win against Leipzig on Saturday. Referee Sven Jablonski awarded a penalty and a yellow card for Hummels. After video referee Pascal Müller intervened, the decision was changed to a free kick and a red card for the defender because the foul occurred outside the penalty area. “The camera settings “16 up” and “reverse left” provided proof of this,” explained Drees. Dortmund had to play 75 minutes outnumbered.

Criticism of the VAR intervention, however, came from former FIFA referee Bernd Heynemann. “Such bean-counting with a magnifying glass is damaging to football,” said the Magdeburger in his column for the “Kicker”. For him, Jablonski’s decision was understandable. Then the scene in the Cologne basement was dissected millimeter by millimeter and the foul was moved out of the penalty area, although even the slow motion was not clear, said the 69-year-old. “In such cases, the field decision should definitely stand and the decision-making power should not be claimed by the cellar,” said Heynemann.