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Monday, August 13, 2012
Ref to take legal action against Luisao

Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent, and ESPN staff

Referee Christian Fischer has said he will sue Benfica's Luisao after the player knocked him to the ground during Saturday's friendly against Fortuna Dusseldorf, which was abandoned as a result.

"I am deeply shocked," Fischer, 42, told German press agency DPA on Sunday. "Never before in my 20 years as ref have I gone through something like this - not in the minor leagues and not in Bundesliga football."

Fischer, who refused to restart the Esprit Arena game after the 38th-minute incident, told the Express he would be taking legal action, adding: "As proof, I got hold of the TV recordings. Thus he [Luisao] can say whatever he wants. It just makes his statements even more ridiculous: everyone saw what happened."

Luisao, 31, insisted: "I did not make any aggressive movement. I am not afraid of punishment and have a clean conscience." Benfica boss Jose Antonio Carraca defended his player, saying: "It was a normal contact and the ref had a pathetic response. It was laughable."

The German Football Federation's media director, Ralf Koettker, said it would be up to a Portuguese sports tribunal to decide whether or not to punish Luisao.

Speaking at the weekend, Fortuna president Peter Frymuth told A Bola: "I'm shocked. I've been in football for many years and have never seen anything like it.

"I do not understand that players from a team with the reputation of Benfica, a team that plays in the Champions League, have such an attitude. Let's get help from the German federation and talk with UEFA about Luisao and about what other players of Benfica did. I hope they are severely punished."

Frymuth said Fischer had refused to restart the game "because of the behaviour of the players of Benfica".

But the Portuguese club, in a statement on their website, claimed their defender had been the victim of "a lamentable display of theatre from the referee".




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