Borussia Dortmund consultant Matthias Sammer: “We have too many wrong decisions against German teams!”

Borussia Dortmund faced yet another dubious penalty call in their game against PSV Eindhoven per Matthias Sammer.

Borussia Dortmund v Newcastle United FC: Group F - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Borussia Dortmund v Newcastle United FC: Group F - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/GettyImages

Borussia Dortmund’s draw against PSV Eindhoven in the UEFA Champions League has left an unsavory taste in the mouths of many spectators after Dortmund had a controversial penalty called against them after a tackle made by Mats Hummels on PSV’s Malik Tillman in the box. Many voices have come out to express their opinions on the matter, with Borussia Dortmund consultant Matthias Sammer adding his two cents to the debate after the match.  

Sammer saw the penalty as indicative of an ongoing trend in the competition where German teams are getting a disproportionate amount of questionable calls against them. Just last week, in RB Leipzig’s game against Real Madrid, the German side had an offside call that was also deemed questionable, a fact that contributed to Sammer's assessment of the treatment of German teams in Champions League, as highlighted in his interview:

"Too many wrong decisions against German teams! I appeal to the fact that we should again show more personality in the international committees, also clearly name things, stand up to people again, and not let this happen."

Matthias Sammer

Per the Dortmund penalty, Sammer appealed to the physical nature of the sport,  stating that such contact is very common:

"A referee must decide for the sake of football. He must consult the rulebook for clear decisions. But this decision does not justify a penalty in the context of knockout competitions. Regardless of Borussia Dortmund, regardless of Leipzig, regardless of other circumstances. Plus, the fact: this is a sport that is very physical, also very robust. Contact situations are part of it."

Matthias Sammer

Sammer’s claims about the sport's physicality ring true to a degree, with the situation in question making it inevitable that the defender would in some way catch the player they are tackling. The bigger issue for Dortmund is the fact that Hummels was put into a position where he needed to try and make that tackle in the first place. 

Sammer’s insinuations that the calls against German teams in the competition alone are far more dubious than against others is a bit of a stretch. Having VAR not even ask the referee to have a look at the call in the aftermath is a bit strange however, particularly because this has been posed as such a 50/50 situation by many as well.

Mats Hummels hits out at joke of a penalty call for PSV against Borussia Dortmund. Mats Hummels hits out at joke of a penalty call for PSV against Borussia Dortmund. dark. Next

At the end of the day, Dortmund shouldn’t be relying on refereeing decisions to get through games. This particular game, prior to the call, was there for Dortmund to win. The result itself was indicative of Dortmund’s general timid approach on the pitch, and this did more harm to the final result than the penalty call as a whole.