The Bayern Bias: Franck Ribery gets away with a blatant slap

Why is it that the big teams always seem to get the big decisions?

Whenever a team is so dominant, paranoia of institutionalism begin to surface on every favourable decision awarded to the powerhouse. And such has been the case this week in Germany with criticism flying over the lack of action taken against Bayern Munich’s playmaker Franck Ribery for a clear slap in the face of Karlsruhe’s haAndreas Gorlitz last weekend.

The incident itself is without too much confusion. During the second half of Saturday’s Bundesliga match, Ribery picked up the ball on the halfway line where he was quickly closed down by Gorlitz looking to retrieve possession for the visitors.

With the pair getting physical as they jostled for possession, Ribery recklessly flung out his left hand which struck Gorlitz full on in the face. Gorlitz, taking his cue, immediately hit the deck with Ribery found leering over his fallen victim as he waited for the referee’s decision.

The referee, who was just a few yards from the incident as it played out, reacted by simply brandishing a yellow card to Ribery. And it is this yellow card which has complicated matters and raised eyebrows in the Fatherland.

As is the case in the Premier League, since the referee booked Ribery at the time of the incident the matter has since become a closed-and-shut case. The German FA have no authority granting them the right to offer judicial review of the decision, with the result being that Ribery has avoided a ban which, having regard to the extremely tight nature of the Bundesliga title race, could have been an important factor in the run-in.

And how did the Bayern’s general manager Uli Hoeness respond when pinned down on national TV. “This is football, we’re not in kindergarten! Stop taking the moral high ground all the time!”

The Ribery slap and a debate over the incident (in German) can be seen here.