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09th Jan 2023

Lukas Podolski sent off during his own charity tournament

Callum Boyle

Lukas Podolski

He also threw a water bottle at the official

Lukas Podolski had a day to forget at his own charity tournament after he was sent off.

Podolski, who now plays his football in Poland with Górnik Zabrze, was competing at the Schauinsland Reisen Cup with his current side alongside five other European outfits at an indoor football tournament.

The former Arsenal and Germany forward has been involved with the initiative for many years but during Zabrze’s semi final clash against Rot-Weiss Essen, Podolski lost his cool.

Although the competition is for charity, there was no sign of fair play during an intense meeting between the two. Three penalties were awarded during the game which many – including Podolski – felt was unjust.

Angered by the decision, the 37-year-old confronted the referee before being giving his matching orders. Still not satisfied, the forward threw a water bottle towards the direction of the officials as he left the pitch.

Zabrze’s one-man disadvantage proved to be their downfall as Rot-Weiss Essen scored moments later to book their place in the final.

Górnik then went on to play 1. FC Kaan Marienborn in the third place play-off, which they won, while Rot-Weiss Essen beat Blau-Weiss Lohne 8-3 in the final.

This is Podolski’s second season at the club after he had stints at Antalyaspor, Vissel Kobe and Galatasaray. Before that he spent three years at Arsenal, scoring 31 times in 82 games and won one FA Cup with the Gunners.

His move to the Polish side in 2021 was an emotional one after he promised to play for the club he grew up supporting at some point during his career.

12 months before his move he said: “I follow all the Górnik matches on TV or live on the internet, and am very happy that a new stadium is being built in Zabrze. My dream is to play at those facilities.”

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