Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich could face forfeit after substitute mix-up in Freiburg victory

Krishan Davis
There was confusion on the touchline
There was confusion on the touchline / Matthias Hangst/GettyImages

Bayern Munich could be made to forfeit their Bundesliga victory over Freiburg after inadvertently having 12 players on the pitch after a bizarre mix-up involving a substitution.

The runaway league leaders were comfortable 4-1 victors away to the European hopefuls on Saturday, but there was a flashpoint late on that could prove costly for Julian Nagelsmann's side.

Confusion reigned after the fourth official held up the wrong number on the board when Bayern intended to make a double substitution in the dying embers.

Niklas Sule and Marcel Sabitzer came on, but only Corentin Tolisso left the field because Kingsley Coman did not realise he was supposed to come off.

Die Roten proceeded to play for 17 seconds with 12 players on the pitch before Freiburg alerted the officials to the error, leading to a long delay as the mistake was realised and Bayern were restored to the correct number.

However, the result could now be overturned per Bundesliga rules, although the hosts may have to lodge a formal complaint for that to happen.

"Coco Tolisso had stomach problems and ran into the tunnel. The fourth official showed the wrong number and Kingsley Coman didn't know he had to go off. Mistakes happen," Nagelsmann said at full-time.

"He was eight seconds or so on the field, then, I don't think he even touched the ball.

"From the point of fair sport, there was nothing that speaks against it having been a fair game."

 "We drew the referee's attention to the fact that Bayern has eleven outfield players on the field," Freiburg's sporting director Jochen Saier told Sky Germany.

"It was bizarre, I've never seen it like that before. He couldn't judge the consequences. Now we all need to slow down and think about it."

The win saw Bayern extend their lead at the top of the Bundesliga standings to nine points, with second-placed Borussia Dortmund getting thumped 4-1 by RB Leipzig later in the day.