Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham has avoided a ban for his comments towards referee Felix Zwayer, but has accepted a fine instead.
After Dortmund’s controversial 3-2 defeat to Bayern Munich, which was officiated by Zwayer, Bellingham brought up the referee’s past history of matchfixing and questioned Zwayer’s integrity as a result.
Unsurprisingly, disciplinary proceedings were opened up almost immediately, but Dortmund have confirmed that Bellingham has avoided any significant punishment.
“The sports court of the German Football Association has not banned Borussia Dortmund’s young professional Jude Bellingham (18) for his TV statement about referee Felix Zwayer after the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Munich last Saturday,” a statement read.
“Out of emotion, immediately after the final whistle, Bellingham reminded Zwayer of his misconduct, which had been punished by the DFB several years ago, in a historical context.
“The sports court evaluated Bellingham’s statement as ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’ and sentenced the England international to a fine. Borussia Dortmund and the player have accepted the verdict, Jude Bellingham is thus eligible to play in the Bundesliga game next Saturday at VfL Bochum.”
This one isn’t over just yet as German police are also conducting their own investigation into allegations of defamation from Bellingham towards Zwayer.
Bild note that referee observer Marco Haase filed a criminal complaint against Bellingham and another former official, Manuel Grafe, who claimed that Zwayer should be banned from officiating as a result of his performance during the game.
That investigation remains ongoing, with the Dortmund public prosecutor’s office expected to make a ruling later this week.