'Referees are hurting Dortmund' - Dembele blasts unfair treatment

The France starlet claims opponents have been allowed to escape with fouls against his side and demands stricter officiating to deter repeat acts

Ousmane Dembele has voiced his frustration at refereeing in the Bundesliga, complaining that Borussia Dortmund often enjoy considerably less favour.

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His coach Thomas Tuchel has been outspoken about what he perceives to be an excessively physical approach adopted by opposing teams this season, and Dembele appears to agree.

No Bundesliga side have been on the receiving end of as many fouls as BVB (291), while only league leaders Bayern Munich have conceded fewer than their 186.

Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen have received fewer yellow cards than Dortmund despite committing more fouls, while opponents being able to foul his side irritate Dembele.

"It is not normal for us to be the most fouled team, committing the fewest [second fewest] fouls, but still have so many yellow cards. I do not understand that," the Frenchman told Sport Bild.

"It annoys me that in the last five or six games, the opponents have looked to stop our flow with tactical fouls that go unpunished.

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"I'd really like the referees to act earlier and harder.

"There are players who have fouled me five or six times in a game without getting a card, and when they do it's often very late.

"In the Champions League it is different; there is a card after at least the second or third tackle."

Dortmund return to Bundesliga action following the mid-season break in a trip to Werder Bremen on Saturday.