Wolfsburg regrets too many substitutions, Münster appeals

WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) — Wolfsburg expressed regret Monday for the mistake that could see the team thrown out of the German Cup despite a 3-1 win over Preußen Münster the day before.

“It’s very annoying but unfortunately it cannot be undone,” Wolfsburg managing director Jörg Schmadtke said of his team’s six substitutions when only five were permitted according to regulations.

Wolfsburg’s new coach Marc van Bommel made three substitutions in normal time against the fourth-division side, then another three in extra time after Wolfsburg equalized in the last minute for 1-1.

Van Bommel brought on Admir Mehmedi for Maximilian Philipp in his sixth substitution when the teams were still level, less than a minute before Wout Weghorst scored for Wolfsburg. Ridle Baku scored the deciding goal in injury time of extra time, but the substitution may yet have a bigger say in the outcome.

Münster said it was appealing against the result “in the interest of a fair competition and out of responsibility toward the fans, members and supporters” of the club. It expects to progress to the second round at Wolfsburg’s expense.

“We stood up to a highly favored Champions League team in an exciting and passionate cup game and, with the support of our fans, forced Wolfsburg into extra time,” Münster sports director Peter Niemeyer said. “Our guests then directly influenced the game to their advantage with this illegal substitution.”

The German soccer federation said Monday its sports court will ask both clubs for written submissions before deciding on an outcome.

Schmadtke said Wolfsburg was annoyed by the mistake but that it will not take any action against van Bommel, whose error marred a complicated debut.

“Wolfsburg has always been characterized by solidarity and togetherness in the past, and that won’t be any different this time,” Schmadtke said.

“Despite all the anger and frustration, it’s important not to get carried away. Even if we briefly considered enrolling everyone involved in a basic reading course, after careful consideration we refrained from doing so,” Schmadtke said.

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