Captain Christian Günter from SC Freiburg has vehemently pleaded for referee Manuel Gräfe (Berlin) to remain in the elite class. “I have to break a lance for him,” said Günter after the 1: 1 (0: 1) on Saturday against TSG Hoffenheim at Sky: “He is one of the best, if not the best referee.”
According to the SC captain, Gräfe, who headed the Baden duel, has “outstanding game management on the pitch”: “And he’s fit. You should think about whether someone like that shouldn’t stay with him as long as he’s so fit.”
The German Football Association (DFB) decided during the week to stick to its controversial age limit for referees. That is why the former FIFA referee Gräfe and his colleagues Guido Winkmann and Markus Schmidt, who all turned 47 last year, will have to “retire” after the season.
After their departure from the elite referees, Gräfe, Winkmann and Schmidt can continue to be used as video assistants in the future.