Football: Hoffenheim opt against 'phantom goal' appeal

Hoffenheim have decided not to appeal against the German Football Federation's (DFB) decision to validate their 'phantom goal' 2-1 defeat at home to Bayer Leverkusen, the Bundesliga club said Tuesday.

Stefan Kiessling's ultimately decisive counter for Leverkusen came when he headed the ball the wrong side of the post, only to see it slip in through a hole in the side-netting, with the referee awarding a goal.

On Monday the DFB decided against ordering a replay of the match originally held on October 18, choosing instead to let the result stand.

"After a period of intense reflection, we've finally decided not to appeal to the High Court," said Hoffenheim's chairman Peter Rettig, according to German agency SID, an AFP subsidiary.

"This decision doesn't change the fact we consider the tribunal's decision constitutes a bad signal for the whole of football.

"Nevertheless, we accept this sentence because we don't want to launch into a hopeless process."

The DFB's decision has come in for severe criticism in Germany.

"I believe the whole of German football is annoyed and should be annoyed," Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told another German agency, DPA.

The victory has helped Leverkusen remain on league leaders' Bayern's coat-tails, just a point behind the reigning champions.

Local press called the decision a "joke".