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Kempter Brothers

Germany has had outstanding referees and assistant referees for many decades. Two officials who have been hitting the headlines recently are Michael and Robert Kempter The brothers from the southern German village of Sauldorf are breaking record after record – Michael, now 25, started officiating at senior level at the tender age of twelve under a special licence from the German football association (DFB). He made his first appearance in the second tier of German football at 21 and debuted in the top flight two years later – a new record. But now Michael has been outdone by ‘ Robert, his younger brother by five years, who recently took charge of his first match in the second Bundesliga at the age of 20. By comparison, world-class German referee Markus Merk was 23 when he officiated in the second Bundesliga for the first time. Manfred Amerell, former FIFA referee and now a referee mentor in southern
Germany, waxes lyrical when talking about the Kempter brothers: “They both live for refereeing. It’s extraordinary how advanced they are for their age. Their understanding of the game, body language and ability to deal with conflict is top quality. Michael and Robert are incredibly ambitious. They want games, games, games, no matter what league they’re in.”