Karl Wald

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Karl Wald (2006)

Karl Wald (born February 17, 1916 in Frankfurt am Main , † July 26, 2011 in Penzberg ) was a German football referee . He is considered to be the developer of the current and worldwide official variant of the penalty shoot-out in football , after various variants of the penalty shoot-out were carried out in official association competitions of European football since the 1950s.


Wald acquired the referee license in 1936 from his parent club Rot-Weiss Frankfurt . Over the next 40 years, more than 1000 games took place under his direction. From 1940 he lived in Penzberg in Upper Bavaria .

During the Second World War he was taken prisoner by the British. After replacing a British referee because of his poor performance, he directed numerous military football games, including in the Prinzenparkstadion in Paris .

In Germany , Wald was used in the Oberliga Süd , which was the highest German division at the time , before the Bundesliga was founded in July 1963 . Since he reached the age limit for referees at the age of 47 in 1963, he only served as linesman in the Bundesliga at the game FC Bayern Munich - Eintracht Frankfurt on August 21, 1965.

Although he retired at the age of 63, he remained a sought-after apprentice until he was 75. He finally gave up his referee career as honorary referee on September 1, 1981, with the game management for the anniversary of the former second division team of his home club FC Penzberg. The President of the World Football Association FIFA Sepp Blatter congratulated him on his 90th birthday .

In 1940 Wald married Therese († 2003) in Penzberg, with whom he had two daughters. Wald was a trained hairdresser , but after the Second World War he worked as a train driver in the Penzberg mine . When it closed in 1966, he moved to the MAN location in Penzberg, where he stayed until he retired.

The idea of ​​the penalty shootout

In 1970, at an association day in Bavaria, Wald suggested that football games that had not found a sporting winner in the course of the normal playing time of 90 minutes and even after 30 minutes of extra time should be brought to a decision by means of a penalty shoot-out:

“This is the only way to have a flawless sporting winner. Anything else wasn't a solution. "

He found the lottery procedure common at the time to be unfair:

“Something like that wasn't a victory. That was just nothing. "

Although he submitted a fully developed draft of the regulations that are still valid today, his application was initially blocked. Only after the Presidium had withdrawn for a consultation did the Bavarian Football Association agree to introduce the proposal at the beginning of the new 1970/71 season. This decision was followed by the German Football Association (DFB), the European Football Union (UEFA) and the world association FIFA , which after 47 committee meetings and special conferences introduced the penalty shoot-out under the official name "Shots from the penalty mark to determine the winner".


Karl-Wald-Strasse in Penzberg (Upper Bavaria)
  • 1956: Silver referee badge of honor
  • 1961: Golden referee badge of honor
  • 1995: Golden plaque of the Weilheim referee group
  • 2007: Special honor of the city of Penzberg for his long-term commitment to FC Penzberg

In honor of Karl Wald, the city of Penzberg named the access road to the Penzberg Nonnenwaldstadion on April 4, 2014 .

From May to October 2020, the Penzberg Museum dedicated the special exhibition "Lawn happiness" to him.

Television broadcast

  • Sports show : 50 years of penalty shoot-out. In: ARD , broadcast on August 9, 2020 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:20 p.m.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Barber's Curse . In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , July 11, 2014.
  2. Wolfgang Schörner: The inventor of the penalty shootout should be named after: Karl-Wald-Stadion in Penzberg? In: Merkur.de. June 23, 2020, accessed June 23, 2020 .
  3. a b STERN : Karl Wald: The father of the penalty shootout , Christian Hollmann, dpa , June 30, 2006.
  4. Karl Wald - Honoring the city of Penzberg for the invention of the penalty shootout - March 21, 2007 on YouTube , accessed on June 23, 2020.
  5. merkur-online.de: Baptism in Penzberg - A street for the inventor of the penalty shootout , Penzberg, April 5, 2014.
  6. Lawn luck. In: museum-penzberg.de. Retrieved June 23, 2020 .