Champions League: the referee of the round of 16 return between Real Madrid and Liverpool involved in a corruption case

Felix Zwayer, who was appointed by UEFA to referee the knockout round of the Champions League, this Wednesday, March 15, between Real Madrid and Liverpool, was involved in a corruption case twenty years ago. ‘years.

At a time when the Spanish championship is shaken by a case of arbitration corruption, Felix Zwayer has been appointed to lead the 8e final return of the Champions League, this Wednesday, between Real Madrid, wide winner in the first leg (5-2), and Liverpool. And the 41-year-old German referee is preceded by an unflattering reputation. About twenty years ago, he was implicated in a case of… corruption.

suspended for six months by the German federation

When he was an assistant referee at the time, he accepted the sum of 300 euros to favor SV Wuppertal in a match against Werder Bremen reserves and was suspended for six months by the German FA. This money had been paid to him by his superior Robert Hoyzer, who was sentenced to two years and five months in prison for organized fraud after admitting to having received money to influence the results of several meetings. He ultimately remained behind bars for 14 months.

This story of corruption resurfaced a little over a year ago during a Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. The Bavarian club won (2-3) after a confrontation marked by various contentious decisions by Felix Zwayer. England international Jude Bellingham had cried foul that the league was “giving Germany’s biggest game to a referee who has already rigged a game”. And in the German press, the referee revealed that he had been harassed and threatened with death. “I received many incredible emails, very difficult to deal with. The Berlin police informed me that there was a death threat against me on the Internet,” he said.

Elected best Bundesliga referee in 2014, Felix Zwayer is far from unanimous across the Rhine for his decision-making and his propensity to show red cards, with around thirty expulsions since his debut in August 2009. And in the current context, his performance in the Spanish capital will necessarily be closely watched.