For German referee Felix Brych, the 2018 World Cup ended after just one match. The 42-year-old will no longer be used in the remaining tournament games, as FIFA announced on Wednesday. The German Football Association (DFB) wants to find out now the grounds of his dismissal.
For DFB, the 2018 World Cup ran by no means as desired. At least, Brych could have had a small advantage from the early elimination of the German team, but things turned out quite differently: like the national team, the 42-year-old from Munich has to travel home earlier than planned. Brych’s services are no longer in demand at the World Cup - although he has only whistled one game. In the Swiss 2-1 first-round victory against Serbia, the referee was involuntarily in focus. Due to contentious decisions, including a case of a missed penalty kick, the Serbian team felt disadvantaged. Serbian national coach Mladen Krstajic then caused a verbal derailment, which resulted in a fine. "Obviously, Felix's difficult and controversial no penalty decision was rated by FIFA to be so serious that there was no more need for him", puzzled DFB Vice-President Ronny Zimmermann.
Disappointment for Brych and German refereeing
The DFB wants to work on the game now in peace, but at the same time to research for a reason for the early return home of his referee. "Of course, for Felix Brych personally and the German refereeing generally, it is very disappointing", said Lutz-Michael Fröhlich, chairman of the Referees Committee. So far, there has been no explanation for the decision by FIFA. Meanwhile, Brych received the backing of former World Cup referee Walter Eschweiler. "Felix Brych should remember the many big games that he has led, especially in Europe, and there will be more," said the 82-year-old German to the press. "I wish him one thing and that was always my premise: what does not upset you just makes you stronger, he's been whistling at a high level for years." Brych himself was militant: "Life goes on and we will come back." Hopes for more games and the final can make after his departure other referees such as the Dutchman Björn Kuipers, Iran's Alireza Faghani or Nestor Pitana from Argentina. The only German referee who, so far, has whistled a World Cup final remains Rudi Glöckner. He led the 1970 final in Mexico City between Brazil and Italy (4-1) in front of more than 100,000 spectators.