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Hooray for fair play! Werder Bremen midfielder convinces referee not to award penalty

Mar 9, 2014, 8:53 AM EDT

Hunt Getty Images

FC Nurnberg, sitting just three points ahead of the drop zone, were in trouble late against Werder Bremen at home in Saturday’s Bundesliga action.

At first glance, it appeared that Nurnberg’s Javier Pinola had taken down midfielder Aaron Hunt making a run into the box in the 75th minute.

The referee pointed to the spot, and there seemed to be no way back for Nurnberg who were staring 3-0 down in the face.

But Hunt, a German international with three caps for his national side, picked himself up from the ground and went straight to the referee and said nobody touched him.

He was right. Replays showed Hunt had tripped over the ol’ blade of grass, and Pinola was incensed with the decision.

Thankfully, Hunt’s protests not to award the penalty worked, much to the Argentine defender’s surprise. A flabbergasted Pinola, who just rode a 20-second emotional roller coaster, immediately thanked Hunt for his honesty.

It was a brilliant display of fair play by Hunt, and well done to the referee to change his decision immediately as well. Sure some will say it’s easy when you’re up 2-0 with 15 minutes to go, but in a day where players leap and dive all over the pitch in attempts to fool the referee no matter the situation, Hunt’s actions are still very much commendable.

There is hope for the game after all!

(MORE: Saturday’s Bundesliga roundup)

Werder Bremen held on for their 2-0 win as a just reward.

  1. bellerophon30 - Mar 9, 2014 at 11:16 AM


  2. medic0nduty - Mar 9, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    Surprised the article did not mention Hiroshi Kiyotake’s nice bit of fair play as well. In the first half he admitted the ball had gone off him last after the ref awarded Nuremberg a corner, which was quickly changed to a goal kick; while turning down a corner isn’t quite on the same level as turning down a penalty, the thought is still the same.

    Not to mention that the game in question was a relegation six-pointer, and both these guys still showed admirable sportsmanship. In a game that is marred by diving and simulation incidences like this are always nice to see.

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