Mats Hummels hits out at referee Michael Oliver over absurd red card

Mats Hummels (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Mats Hummels (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /

Mats Hummels criticised referee Michael Oliver over his decision to send him off during Borussia Dortmund’s 3-1 defeat to Ajax on Wednesday. 

Borussia Dortmund suffered a 3-1 defeat to Ajax on Wednesday evening, leaving them in a very precarious position in their UEFA Champions League group. The biggest talking point of the game wasn’t any of the goals, but referee Michael Oliver’s controversial decision to send Mats Hummels off in the first half for his tackle on Antony.

Hummels was given the red card at the half hour mark by referee Michael Oliver. And the decision was then strangely upheld by the VAR even though replays clearly showed that there was minimal contact between the two. If anything, it was Antony who jumped on Hummels’ leg.

Hummels did not hold back in his criticism of the referee after the game, calling the decision an absurd mistake.

"“I have no idea how you can give a red card there, how a referee at an apparent Champions League level can give a red card there,” Hummels told DAZN after the game. “I stayed on the pitch and thought let them take a look. When he stayed with the red card, I was in disbelief. That was an absurd mistake. The referee decided the game and I think he knows that.”"

Hummels also hit out at Ajax winger Antony, whose dramatic reaction to the challenge likely played a role in helping the referee make up his mind.

"“His acting should not be overlooked in this. He even came up to me and said it wasn’t a red card. He’s a super footballer but he needs to learn to be a sportsman.”"

Marco Rose was also critical of the referee’s decision to send Mats Hummels off. The Borussia Dortmund head coach felt that VAR should have helped the referee reverse the decision.

"“If we have people sitting in a warm room, who can take a look at it and check the decision – if they decide that you can give the card like that then I’m sorry, something is wrong in football.”"

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Despite the red card, Borussia Dortmund took a 1-0 lead going into the break after Marco Reus scored from the penalty spot. But fatigue creeped up with the 10-man Black and Yellows in the end, and Ajax were able to turn the game around with Antony setting up all three of their goals in the second half.