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The Carl Zeiss Jena playmaker’s unfortunate ejection in the 51st minute of their German Cup semi-final match at Borussia Dortmund - when they were behind 1-0 but close to equalising – pretty much took the life out of what was until then a good game.
The relegation-threatened second division underdogs were putting up a great fight against Dortmund and had the Bundesliga side on the ropes. After Simak was sent off Dortmund got two late goals to win 3-0.
Perhaps Simak, a Czech, did not fully understand the impact in German of the gesture — covering his eyes with his fists. “Tomaten auf den Augen” (Tomatoes on the eyes) is a popular phrase in Germany to refer to referees who were blind to something obvious that happened in front of their eyes. Some newspapers even publish pictures of the referee with giant tomatoes covering their eyes after particularly daft decisions.