Hoffenheim accepts goal decision
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP)
Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling was awarded the goal by referee Felix Brych in the Oct. 18 game when his header hit the side-netting and rolled into the goal through a hole.
A German football federation tribunal ruled Monday that Brych didn't breach any rules in making his decision and let Leverkusen's 2-1 win stand.
''The decision may be unsatisfactory from a sporting point of view, but it corresponds to the rules and the laws,'' judge Hans E. Lorenz said.
Hoffenheim has a week to decide whether it will appeal to a higher tribunal. The club is ''of course disappointed'' by the ruling and will review the decision ''calmly'' before making a decision, said Alexander Rosen, its director of professional football.
Brych told Monday's hearing that he thought the ball was going wide, lost sight of the ball, and ''then I saw the ball was in the goal.''
Kiessling said that he initially thought Hoffenheim goalkeeper Koen Casteels had scored an own goal. He told the tribunal that he saw the ball heading toward the side-netting, but his view was blocked. ''I didn't see the impact, but (did see) that the ball was then in the goal,'' he said.
Chairman of the board Peter Rettig said: "After extensive deliberations we have finally decided to give up the route of taking this to the next level.
"This decision does not change the fact that we view the tribunal's decision as sending a wrong signal to football in general. However, we will accept this judgment because we do not want to get bogged down in what is obviously a hopeless cause."
Head coach Mark Gisdol is also prepared to move on from the incident.
"I'm obviously disappointed, but not surprised," he said. "We will now look forward and, as always, it is best to focus on the challenges ahead."
FOXSoccer.com's newswire services contributed to this report.