Spectator becomes match official after assistant referee gets injured

Following an appeal to the crowd for any spectators who are qualified referees, he took over the fourth official role as emergency backup

By AP

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Assistant referee Thorben Siewer. Photo: AP
Assistant referee Thorben Siewer. Photo: AP

Published: Sat 27 Jan 2024, 10:28 PM

A spectator at a Bundesliga game was recruited to step in as the fourth official Saturday after the assistant referee was injured.

The game between Wolfsburg and Cologne was stopped in the 14th minute when Cologne player Max Finkgräfe hit a powerful clearance straight into the face of assistant referee Thorben Siewer, who was on the sideline nearby.

Siewer seemed dazed and was helped off the field. He was replaced on the sideline by fourth official Nicolas Winter.

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Following an appeal to the crowd for any spectators who are qualified referees, 32-year-old Tobias Krull took over the fourth official role as emergency backup.

Krull is a goalkeeper for local sixth-division club MTV Gifhorn. He changed into a black tracksuit to join the officiating crew.

Last week, a fan in England took over as the fourth official in extra time of an FA Cup game between Wolverhampton and Brentford. He wasn't allowed to celebrate his team's winning goal.

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