News : Manuel Gräfe: Referee resigns, players form a line, Haaland swaps jerseys
Germany’s top referee Manuel Gräfe will whistle a Bundesliga game for the 289th and last time in Dortmund on Saturday. Now it’s over, because Gräfe has reached the age limit at the age of 47. To say goodbye, the professionals from BVB and Leverkusen stand appreciatively.
Visibly moved, Gräfe walks through the same with a “thank you” shirt and his two children, then he receives a bouquet of flowers and a thank you picture from BVB sports director Michael Zorc.
Before that, the referee exchanged his jersey with the jersey of BVB star Erling Haaland, who scored two goals in Dortmund’s 3-1 win over Leverkusen.
Manuel Gräfe: The referee does not resign voluntarily
“You can hardly stop better. It was almost like a player. The referee, that was phenomenal,” says Gräfe at Sky.
The Berliner does not resign entirely voluntarily, but is powerless against the age limit prescribed by the DFB – many protagonists of the league even advocated his stay.
“I would like to thank everyone again for their support over the past few weeks, players, coaches and managers,” says Gräfe, who has been in the Bundesliga since 2004. “I’ve always had a good relationship with the guys and they have given me a lot in the last few weeks and again today. That was very impressive and moving.”
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