Lucien Favre labelled modern football "ridiculous" after Borussia Dortmund's 4-2 derby defeat to Schalke left their Bundesliga title hopes in tatters.
Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre believes the interpretation of football's handball rule is becoming "ridiculous" after his team's devastating 4-2 Revierderby defeat to Schalke turned on a penalty awarded against Julian Weigl.
Mario Götze headed Dortmund into an early lead but Daniel Caligiuri levelled from an 18th-minute penalty, with Weigl deemed guilty via a VAR review when a shot was blasted at him from close quarters.
Dortmund unravelled horribly thereafter, with Salif Sane putting Schalke ahead and Caligiuri netting a stunning 62nd-minute free-kick either side of Marco Reus and Marius Wolf being red carded for lunging tackles on Suat Serdar.
"I've never experienced something like this, it's difficult to deal with," Favre told Sky, after Breel Embolo completed the scoring to render Axel Witsel's 85th-minuite goal for nine-man Dortmund a greater irrelevance.
"The penalty shows how ridiculous football has become. This handball rule, it is the biggest scandal in football that nobody knows anything about it. It's a disgrace."
The former Nice boss picked up the theme at his post-match news conference.
"It's a joke," he said. "Not just today's penalty, but in general. Should the players cut off their arms and run without them?"
Schalke boss Stevens: "I told Lucien I am not happy with it as well"
Schalke boss Huub Stevens looked perplexed on the sideline when the penalty was awarded and offered sympathy to his opposite number.
"I think it's very disgusting that a penalty like this has been given," he said.
"I told Lucien Favre that I am not happy with it as well. But my team received these kind of decisions against us in the weeks before."
Favre chose not to complain in a similar manner about the red cards awarded to his captain Reus and Wolf, but again suggested he did not agree with referee Felix Zwayer's interpretations.
"We have to avoid these situations. But we need to admit that the referee didn't have his best day," he said.
Schalke midfielder Omar Mascarell stated Dortmund lost their composure and felt Reus and Wolf could have no complaints.
"When the result is not what you want, sometimes you get nervous and lose yourself," he said. "For me it was two red cards."
Victory for Bayern Munich over second-bottom Nurnberg on Sunday will increase the champions' lead over Dortmund to four points with three matches to play and Favre felt it was time to concede the title.
"Yes, of course, the title race is done," he added. "It's hard to stomach but it is what it is."