Lehmann threatens to quit over refereeing

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has claimed he is considering retirement because the refereeing in the Bundesliga is so bad.

The 39-year-old Stuttgart stopper, who returned to Germany this season after five years in the Premier League, was booked by referee Babak Rafati in yesterday's 2-2 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Rafati allowed two controversial goals - one for either side - to stand, leaving Lehmann wondering if there are no better officials in Germany.

"We all have reason to be not too happy with the performance of the referee," he told Premiere television after the match. "I kept asking myself what on earth he was blowing for. These are referees for us and not for the two people in the stands who are writing a report about him. What that man did was unbelievable."

Lehmann was furious at the yellow card he received, his third of the season for dissent.

"There was a situation in which a Frankfurt player feigned an injury so we could not launch a counter-attack," he added. "The referee said he had to stop play for the injury and then the man stands up and doesn't even leave the field to be treated. I told the referee, 'Look! There he goes!' and he shows me a yellow card - incredible.

"That was so bad that I may as well not bother playing in future. I did not even say anything nasty to the referee. Surely there are better ones. I am sorry, but things cannot go on like this."

Lehmann concluded dolefully, "This is sad for the whole of the Bundesliga."

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