Referee Manuel Grafe was unable to communicate with the fourth official after the incident due to a headset malfunction. A review has been launched after a broken headset led to referee Manuel Grafe failing to award Eintracht Frankfurt a penalty during their 1-0 defeat to Augsburg. With the game still 0-0 after 16 minutes, Augsburg's Dominik Kohr pulled down Frankfurt attacker Vaclav Kadlec in the box, and many inside Frankfurt's Waldstadion expected Grafe (photo) to point to the spot, but he never blew the whistle.
The referee later apologised to Frankfurt coach Thomas Schaaf, and explained that he and his assistant did not see the infringement, and that the fourth official had tried to contact him via the headset. However, Grafe and the fourth official were not able to communicate because of problems with their headset. Frankfurt, who had been pondering an official protest against the result, announced that they would not lodge a protest because "it was a referee's decision." CEO Heribert Bruchhagen said he had "rarely seen a clearer penalty from the stands" but added: "It is like it is. Such things happen."
Herbert Fandel, the head of the German FA's referee commission, said he would investigate the incident and attempt to prevent a repeat in the future. "I think that it has been a very unfortunate and annoying situation, even if it was an exceptional occurrence," Fandel told Suddeutsche Zeitung. "Even so, we will talk about this with the Bundesliga referees, and try to find ways to ensure those hard-to-imagine incidents can be eliminated in the future." Speaking to Sky, former referee Hellmut Krug, who is also a member of the commission, added: "We will address this with the refs as soon as possible. We have never had such a case before. That the referee and the assistants don't see the penalty but the fourth official sees it and wants to communicate but can't -- you can't really imagine that happening in your wildest dreams." Krug said the fourth official, Patrick Ittrich, could have informed the referee without the headset but clarified that he was not reproaching him. "It was a special situation, with a lot of pressure and stress, but a fourth official needs to do all he can to get in touch with the assistant," he said.