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Wolfsburg Thrown Out of DFB Pokal for Using Too Many Substitutes

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Wolfsburg has been thrown out of the German Cup for fielding too many substitutes in its first-round win over Preussen Münster.

The German soccer federation said Monday that its sports court had decided to overturn Wolfsburg’s 3-1 win and award a 2-0 victory to the fourth-division side. Wolfsburg used six substitutions rather than the permitted five in the game on Aug. 8.

“The clubs themselves are responsible for substitutions. One of their basic duties is to find out about substitution options and to act accordingly,” Stephan Oberholz, deputy chairman of the sports court said. “Wolfsburg violated this duty and thus carelessly and avoidably committed the central error by making the illegal sixth substitution.”

In his debut as Wolfsburg coach, Mark van Bommel made three substitutions in normal time against Münster, then another three in extra time after his team 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 his team scored.

Oberholz said Wolfsburg could not blame the mistake on the referees who allowed the substitution because “the central initial error is club’s fault.”

The federation said Münster will play in the second round, though Wolfsburg said it wasn’t giving up.

“We don’t agree with the decision and will now check legal options,” Wolfsburg chief executive Tim Schumacher said.

Wolfsburg attempted to see the funny side of its mistake Saturday when it offered fans who bought five tickets for its Bundesliga game against Bochum a sixth ticket for free.

The second-round draw takes place on Aug. 29.

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