Ex-Arsenal star Podolski sent off in own charity game after squaring up to ref

Former Arsenal star Lukas Podolski was given his marching orders during his own charity tournament over the weekend.

Podolski had been playing in the Schauinsland Reisen Cup with Polish outfit Górnik Zabrze – who competed against five other European sides on an indoor pitch. The German international had played a key role in organising the tournament.

However, in a semi-final clash with Rot-Weiss Essen – Podolski brought down a player, who had been through on goal, and then sprang up and confronted the referee. The 37-year-old squared up to the referee – and gave him no option but to give him his marching orders.

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In a comical twist, Podolski marched off the pitch, hopped over the barrier, and continued to berate the officials from the sideline.

Podolski began to hurl water onto the pitch, and in the direction of the officials as he watched on from the sidelines. It had been an ill-tempered affair, with fouls dominating the game, and Podolski's moment of madness proved to be the boiling point.

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Górnik Zabrze went on to lose the semi-final, and Podolski was banned from the third-placed play-off.

Podolski is still playing regular top-flight football in Poland – where he returned to his hometown side in 2021.

He was born in Poland, but moved to Germany so he could develop his footballing skills. Poland elected against calling him up in 2003 due to "only having one or two good games in the Bundesliga" and Podolski, who now qualified for Germany, opted to represent Die Mannschaft.


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