Since the quarrels about the top game between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Munich, the topic of referees has been boiling with the actors Felix Zwayer and Jude Bellingham. A good time to relax a little before the next Bundesliga matchday.
Walter Eschweiler is an absolute original of the soccer referee guard of the 70s and 80s. Many still know him because at the 1982 World Cup, as he said himself, he was run over by a “Peruvian orangutan”, rolled backwards and then passed out for a short time. But most of all, you still know him today because he loved talking on the pitch. There used to be strong conversations during the 90 minutes.
The following legendary sentence was also heard in a Bundesliga game in the mid-1970s. At that time, Eschweiler had a lively conversation with Rot-Weiss Essen legend Willi “Ente” Lippens during the first division game. And when the two were walking so nicely next to each other, at some point Eschweiler called the memorable sentence over to Willi Lippens: “Wilhelm, I think your wife is cheating on us!” You have to let it sink in first.
Somehow, with stories like this, you can’t help but get the impression that some things used to be solved in a more relaxed and human way in a certain way. Cult referee Wolf-Dieter Ahlenfelder could probably have done without expelling BVB coach Marco Rose from the field last weekend – as Felix Zwayer did with a grand gesture. Sometimes certain words at the right time not only make you smile, they also help defuse situations. Ahlenfelder in his memory of heated Bundesliga moments: “I used to tell Otto Rehhagel that if you don’t stay seated, Pattex would get under your ass.” It should actually have helped – contemporary witnesses report.
A small short-tailed pterosaur
In any case, for many years one has had the impression that there is simply too little communication between the referees and the players and officials on the pitch. They are actually all participants in the same game – and should ideally take care of each other a little. Like in this beautiful example from the Premier League. When the Scottish rascal Graeme Souness raged on the sidelines for 90 minutes after a heart operation, the game’s referee, Keith Hackett, said afterwards about the very committed coach: “He was really angry about a duel between Dennis Wise and Nigel Clough. I had to tell him, ‘Calm down, please, you’ve just had a triple open heart bypass surgery.’ “That was well received by Souness – and so he reported meekly afterwards:” I was so excited that I myself I was no longer sure whether my pills were still working properly. “
But of course, in the heat of the moment, certain emotionalities and one or the other outburst of anger are normal here and there. It’s only stupid if you want to be particularly clever – and then things backfire in the end, as in the case of Everton coach Joe Royle. To avoid an obvious insult, he had come up with something special and simply called the referee David Elleray a pterodactylus. And then, swaying to safety, he had laughed his fist at Royle. The only thing stupid about the whole story was that Elleray was a school janitor by profession. And for the biology class, he dropped the dinosaur chart every other day. So he knew exactly how Royle had tried to offend him: as a little short-tailed pterosaur. The thing backfired, of course!
A high-profile protest
Ben Redelings is a passionate “chronicler of football madness” and a supporter of the glorious VfL Bochum. The bestselling author and comedian lives in the Ruhr area and maintains his legendary treasure trove of anecdotes. for ntv.de he writes down the most exciting and funniest stories on Mondays and Saturdays. More information about Ben Redelings, his current dates and his book with the best columns (“Between Puff and Barcelona”) can be found on his website www.scudetto.de.
But basically the idea wasn’t bad – and quite creative. Just like once the criticism of the lower-class Spanish table bottom CD La Redondela. For weeks people had been annoyed about the miserable referee performance, but no one took the club’s protest seriously. Even the press didn’t want to report. And so it was decided to undertake an extremely unusual action. Before the game against Olont CF, the entire club collected change. More precisely: one-cent coins. In fact, it was possible to scrape together the fee for referee Alvaro Moguera Coronda in the smallest possible way: 100 euros in 10,000 one-cent coins. The referee refused to accept the 23-kilogram coin collection – but the protest has now become public across the country. Simple as ingenious!
Just like the subtly expressed criticism of the original referee Walter Eschweiler in the 1982/83 season. Back then, the Rhinelander not only made friends at the VfL Bochum game in Dortmund. And he had particularly annoyed one: Gustav Sträter, the stadium manager of Borussia. When Eschweiler was finally in the shower after the encounter, the BVB fan retaliated in his own way: He turned off the hot water supply completely. Eschweiler swore loudly, Sträter was delighted, turned back to warm – and had made a new friend. BVB trainer Karl-Heinz Feldkamp was enthusiastic: “If the Sträter does that with all the referees who whistle badly here, then I’ll put up with it!” And next time everyone could laugh heartily and together at this little prank.