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Ref defends decision not to award 'goal' in German Cup final, replays suggest ball over line

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BERLIN - Referee Florian Meyer has defended his decision not to award Borussia Dortmund a goal in Saturday's German Cup final despite TV replays suggesting the ball crossed the line.

"In the real sequence of events it wasn't discernible without doubt for either my assistants or myself whether the ball crossed the line or not. So we decided to let the game continue," Meyer said Sunday in a statement from the German football federation (DFB).

Mats Hummels' header was cleared on or behind the line by Bayern Munich defender Dante in the 64th minute with the game still scoreless. It wasn't awarded and Bayern went on to win 2-0 in extra time.

DFB media director Ralf Koettker dismissed suggestions the goal was initially awarded by the linesman.

"Meyer did not overrule his assistant; there was also no difference in (their) perception of the situation. There was no signal for a goal from the sideline, either by flag or through headset," Koettker said.

Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp railed against the decision.

"If Dante managed to clear before the line though he was standing with his leg on the line and he had the other behind it, he could do a number with Cirque du Soleil," Klopp said. "That has to be seen even without goal-line technology."

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola acknowledged "it would have changed everything" had the goal been awarded.

The incident has rekindled the debate in Germany over goal-line technology, which was rejected by a majority of Bundesliga clubs from the first and second divisions last March.

Both Dortmund and Bayern voted in favour of the technology at the time.

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