Bayern Munich’s 4-1 Bundesliga victory in Freiburg has been upheld by the German Football Federation (DFB).
The federation rejected a Freiburg protest over a substitution mistake by their opponents.
The DFB said in a statement on Friday that the referees were mainly to blame that Bayern Munich had 12 players on the pitch for a few seconds in last Saturday’s game.
Bayern Munich were leading 3-1 at the time.
The ruling means that Bayern Munich stay nine points ahead of Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table.
Bayern Munich had given the old shirt number for Kingsley Coman to come off instead of his new one in a double substitution late in the game.
As a result he stayed on the pitch and the game continued while both new men had entered the pitch.
DFB sports court judge Stephan Oberholz spoke of “grave wrongdoings” from the match officials which weighed heavier than Bayern Munich’s mistake with the shirt number.
“The fourth official directed the two substitutes onto the field of play without, like the referee, checking whether the players to be substituted had left the field beforehand,” Oberholz said.
“They overlooked the fact that there were 12 players on the field for a short time. They have not complied with their inspection obligations regarding the number of players and team strength.
“The clubs are responsible for determining who comes on and off, while the referee is solely responsible for the technical handling of the substitution process.”
Oberholz said the case could not be compared with others like Wolfsburg being declared losers of a Cup match earlier in the season.
That was after they made six substitutions instead of the allowed five.
Freiburg appealed on Monday because otherwise the DFB would not have looked into the case at all.
They argued that a legal basis for possible future cases was needed, but also because they also had an obligation to act in the interest of the whole club.
The club said on Friday they would not appeal the ruling.
But they did call for change a change in DFB rules so that the federation itself takes action in such scenarios without a club having to lodge an appeal.
“We now hope that there is more legal security in the future that clubs no longer have this dilemma. For us, the case is closed,” Freiburg coach Christian Streich said.
Bayern Munich chairman Oliver Kahn said “we are happy with this ruling because it confirmed our view” of the unprecedented incident.