Schmidt remains defiant in referee row


Bayer Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt remained largely unrepentant over his refusal to leave the technical area after being sent off in Sunday's 1-0 Bundesliga home defeat against Borussia Dortmund.

The incident occurred immediately after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored what proved to be the winner for the visitors in the 64th minute and prompted referee Felix Zwayer to take both teams from the field, holding up play for around 10 minutes.

Schmidt claimed that a free-kick awarded to Dortmund in the build-up to the goal should have gone Leverkusen's way and was taken while the ball was still moving.

His protests incurred the wrath of Zwayer, who initially gestured that the 48-year-old should head to the stands and subsequently instructed Leverkusen skipper Stefan Kiessling to insist that his coach vacate the dugout.

But Schmidt felt he was entitled to stand his ground.

"I'm not one for gestures," he said. "I wanted to know why he wanted to send me off and I tried to discuss that with him, but it didn't happen.

"I wanted to have a reason."

Schmidt did then back down slightly by admitting that his behaviour had proved costly for his team, but remained adamant that the free-kick in the build-up to Aubameyang's goal should have been retaken.

"Maybe that was a bit stubborn of me, so I have hurt my team," he said. "I'm sorry. 

"I am a role model and I've not done myself justice, but sometimes it is easy to react in hectic and emotional situations.

"My team fell behind to an irregular goal.

"I have the fourth official noting that the kick was executed a thousand percent irregularly 

"He [the referee] also did not give a thousand percent penalty and I'm just challenging for justice for my team."

Referee Zwayer, meanwhile, claimed that Schmidt's actions left him with no other option than to halt play.

"I tried several times to influence Roger Schmidt to leave the pitch area," he said.

"Since that did not happen, I had no choice but to interrupt the game."