Monday, May 18, 2009

Lehmann takes a swipe at German officials

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has stoked the fires of controversy once again after pointing the finger at German officials. The Stuttgart number one has claimed his side would have wrapped up the Bundesliga title had it not been for some controversial refereeing decisions.

The 39-year-old believes league leaders Wolfsburg, who need only a point to be crowned champions for the first time in their history next weekend, have had all the luck and benefitted from some dubious decisions.

"Wolfsburg have benefited from refereeing decisions," he said. "I have never seen them having to accept negative decisions." Bayern Munich, who lie in a share of second place with Stuttgart, have also been on the receiving end of refereeing help according to Lehmann.

"Bayern get some decisions in their favour which would go against us but, as a player, you cannot do anything about such decisions," he added. "If the decisions were all normal, we would already be champions.

"We are hoping for a good referee's performance in Munich on Saturday. I am sure I am not going to get a fantastic reception there."

Lehmann is no stranger to controversy and recently ripped the headband off Stuttgart defender Khalid Boulahrouz during a UEFA Cup tie and threw Hoffenheim star Sejad Salihavic's boot onto the roof of the net. Salihavic's boot came off in the penalty area and instead of Lehamann handing it back to the striker he launched it behind onto the netting and the Hoffenheim man was ordered off the pitch to find it before he was allowed back into the action.

The keeper, who has just come out of international retirement for Germany, also haggled with a referee about where Bremen midfielder Diego should position the ball for a free-kick. Diego then scored from the spot chosen by Lehmann.

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