The end for referee Manuel Gräfe is probably a final decision. As the kicker reports, the sporting management of the DFB referees decided to strictly adhere to the controversial age limit of 47 years for Bundesliga referees. The presidium of the German Football Association had already nodded off the proposed referee list on Wednesday. In addition to Gräfe, the 47-year-old Markus Schmidt and Guido Winkmann were also missing.
The DFB had already announced the end of the three experienced referees in mid-April, and the Gräfe case in particular caused a stir. In the past few weeks, players and those responsible have been campaigning for an exception to the age rule. Grafe’s high reputation was shown, among other things, last weekend when the players from Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen said goodbye to him with a trellis.
There was still minimal hope that the DFB would withdraw, but this has now apparently finally been dashed. For the referee bosses, “the systemic and structural further development of the referees” was the central theme in the creation of the squad list, writes kicker. The path should not be obstructed for younger referees.