Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham fined for ‘match-fixing’ comment

Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, right, watches referee Felix Zwayer during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham has been fined by the German soccer federation for comments about a referee following his team’s Bundesliga defeat to Bayern Munich on Saturday.

Bellingham was frustrated with contentious decisions by referee Felix Zwayer, who was previously involved in a match-fixing scandal centered around referee Robert Hoyzer that was uncovered in 2005.

After Bayern’s 3-2 win, a visibly annoyed Bellingham told Norwegian broadcaster Viaplay, “You give a referee that’s, you know, match-fixed before, the biggest game in Germany, what do you expect?”

The soccer federation’s sports court reacted on Tuesday, when it fined the 18-year-old Bellingham 40,000 euros ($45,000) for “unsporting behavior.”

Bellingham and Dortmund accepted the sanction, meaning he’s free to play against Bochum in the Bundesliga on Saturday.