Fair play, Aaron Hunt

It’s the 75th minute of the match between 1. FC Nürnberg and Werder Bremen. The Green and Whites are on their way forward on a counter attack trying to build on their 2-0 lead. In the end it is Aaron Hunt who gets into the penalty area on the way through on goal. In the end Hunt goes down and referee Manuel Gräfe blows his whistle to the disbelieve of Javier Pinola, the player being closest to Hunt before he went down in the area.

Normally this would have been a spot kick and possibly the third goal for Werder, but not this time.  After Herr Gräfe had given the penalty kick he was approached by Aaron Hunt and was told by the player that he wasn’t fouled. Maik Frantz gave Hunt the thumbs up and Javier Pinola shook his hand. Play resumed and the score stayed at 2-0 for Werder.

Here are the high lights of the match. The scene in question can be seen after a 2 minutes and 27 seconds.

Aaron Hunt told Sky after the match:

“I was looking for that contact and I wanted a penalty. That was pure instinct, but it was wrong. I had to think about it, but we don’t want to win a match like that.”

The match between Der Club and Werder was played in a fair spirit throughout the entire 90 minutes, despite the 7 yellow cards which Manuel Gräfe handed out. Another scene which is worth mentioning came after 15 minutes in the first half when Nürnberg player Hiroshi Kiyotake was awarded a corner kick after a duel with Sebastian Prödl. The Japanese player told the ref that he had been the last person to touch the ball and Werder was awarded a goal kick in the end.

Miroslav Klose goes down after Mathias Hain has gotten to the ball ahead of him.
Miroslav Klose goes down after Mathias Hain has gotten to the ball ahead of him.

Miroslav Klose – Another fair play example by the Green and Whites

Aaron Hunt may have been reminded of a situation which happened in the Weserstadion on match day 31 in the 2004/05 during the match between Werder Bremen and Arminia Bielefeld.

Werder striker Miroslav Klose had been played through on goal, but was brought down by Arminia keeper Mathias Hain. Referee Herbert Fandel had spotted a foul, but Miroslav Klose told the referee that Hain had in fact played the ball and that he wasn’t fouled. Werder won the match 3-0 in the end, but at that point of the game the score was still tied at 0-0. Aaron Hunt was an unused substitute in that match.

Miroslav Klose went on to receive a fair play award by the German Olympic Committee for his conduct. Upon receiving this honour he told werder.de:

As professionals we are responsible for providing an example for the youngsters. It’s important for the kids to see that it’s possible to win fairly.”

Seven years later on Klose made new headlines due to his fair behaviour when he told the referee in the Serie A clash between Lazio and Napoli that he had handled the ball before scoring Lazio’s opening goal. The referee was able to award a free kick to Napoli instead of giving a goal, and Lazio and Miro Klose went on to lose the match 3-0 in the end.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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