FC bayern munchen shone for more than an hour in sinsheim – then the overwhelming 6:0 (4:0) became a minor matter.
Coach hansi flick, the professionals around the raging david alaba and serge gnabry as well as board member oliver kahn stood in the pouring rain in front of their own fan curve and interfered with the supporters. What happened?
THE CLASH: one banner was enough, and referee christian dingert interrupted the game for the first time. FC bayern fans held up banners against hoffenheim’s mazen dietmar hopp, the wording of which was deeply offensive. Basically, they wanted to protest against the reintroduced DFB collective punishment against the fans of borussia dortmund, who had been banned for insults against the player from hoffenheim. Again hopp was the target. The bavarians rushed to the curve, gesticulating wildly at the fans one, to hang up the poster. It worked – but only temporarily. Ten minutes later, the next banner was unveiled, and dingert blew his whistle again.
THE CONSEQUENCES: this time it did not remain with the intervention of the bavarians. Dingert sends both teams into the dressing room. In front of the curve, several professionals as well as ex-keeper kahn tried again and emotionally to influence their own fans. In the dressing room, further proceedings were discussed, and hopp and bayern’s CEO karl-heinz rummenigge had meanwhile arrived in the catacombs.
THE SIGN: after an almost 20-minute break, the teams returned to the pitch. But really fubball was no longer played, instead the teams showed in their own way what they thought of the fan action. Demonstratively they pushed the ball back and forth while hopp and rummenigge stood next to the pitch and applauded just like most of the fans. After the game, hoffenheim and bayern professionals joined hopp in the hosts’ corner. Own fans visited manuel neuer and co. Not this afternoon.
THE REACTIONS: rummenigge called the incidents "a black day for fubball", he demanded "clear edge" against such fans. "We have to be courageous and not always duck away," warned the head of the munich-based company. DFL boss christian seifert said: "the permanent hostility against dietmar hopp has long been unacceptable and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. We have experienced a sad high point in this respect today."Any kind of hate must have no place. Similar demonstrations were also heard in the other bundesliga stadiums. The case will keep german soccer busy for a long time to come.
THE FANS: the perpetrators of the scandal showed no understanding. In a statement published online, it said: "if we want to stop or interrupt football matches in the future whenever such insults are shouted in the stands, we will no longer be able to play a game lasting more than 90 minutes. The interruption today was simply exaggerated and absurd."However, the action once again made it clear how heterogeneous the german fan scene is. In the previous week, some gladbach supporters had attracted attention with insults against hopp, and were met with whistles from other areas of the stadium.
THE BACKGROUND: hopp has been the target of harsh criticism from a wide variety of fan groups for years. The 79-year-old billionaire and co-founder of the SAP group has used his private fortune to turn the village club in hoffenheim into a bundesliga team and a european cup contender. For the hard core of some fan groups, he is therefore seen as a symbol of commercialization like only the red-bull club RB leipzig. Without hopps money the professional club TSG hoffenheim would not exist. In the rhine-neckar region, hopp is regarded as a challenger; he has received several awards for his social commitment.
THE CONSEQUENCES: the DFB sports court will deal with the misconduct of the bayern fans, and the games in dortmund and koln were briefly interrupted because of chanting and hate posters against hopp. The clubs are therefore facing a penalty. However, the question of how certain fan groups, which had already announced such an action against hopp and the collective punishments in advance, will react to saturday’s novelty in the coming weeks was much more exciting. The german fubball federation and the german fubball league are facing the next, protracted conflict with some fans.