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Why a German soccer player got a red card on purpose

It was genuinely a good plan... until it wasn’t.

Why would a player want to get thrown out of a game? Well, what if you know you’re headed for a suspension and want to serve it as soon as possible? If that sounds weird, well, blame the German football calendar.

Bundesliga, like many European football leagues, plays a knockout tournament concurrently with its regular season. Unlike typical American sports, where the playoffs follow the regular season, a German soccer team will play some regular matches, then a tournament game, then go right back to normal fixtures. When you’ve got overlapping timelines, you need to account for singular, linear phenomena, like accrued penalties. And as recently as the early ‘90s, the Bundesliga left a loophole in this accounting.

A player by the name of Frank Ordenewitz identified this loophole, realized that an immediate penalty would allow him to serve a suspension at a convenient time, and nearly pulled off a very savvy feat of intentional troublemaking. But, best-laid plans and such. Find out what happened to your new best friend Otze in this brand new episode of Weird Rules.