Dortmund condemn derby violence
Borussia Dortmund officials and players have unanimously condemned the fan violence seen before Saturday’s Revierderby against Schalke.
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Dortmund’s travelling supporters fired flares onto the Veltins-Arena pitch and towards adjacent blocks in the stadium before their side’s 3-1 victory. Seconds before kickoff, fans also tore down protective security glass surrounding the away end.
“A red line was crossed,” the German Football League and Dortmund president Reinhard Rauball said.
Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp also condemned the violence, saying: “I am ashamed of those fans. Those were awful, awful pictures.”
“Emotions are part of it all, but this aggressiveness is totally overstepping the mark,” Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller, who was nearly hit by one of the flares thrown on the pitch, said.
The club's CEO Aki Watzke said the incidents would bring about consequences for the club’s supporters.
“There is no way to try to glorify the aggressiveness with romantic motives," he was quoted as saying by Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
Speaking to kicker, Watzke added: “There will be no quick shots -- precision before expedition. Everyone involved will have the chance to add their thoughts.”
Dortmund are to hold discussions with fans in an attempt to isolate the perpetrators.
Kicker summed up the general feeling in Germany, highlighting the positive aspects Dortmund fans have given to the game in recent years and praising the club for giving their supporters a voice on many occasions.
“Borussia Dortmund now have to lead the way -- how to identify and punish the perpetrators. And that goes for the BVB bosses and the BVB fans,” the paper said.
“Yobs who fire pyrotechnics into groups of people have nothing to do with football, the club and, strictly speaking, the derby. Their heads are filled with too much air, the criminal energy is way too high. It is very hard to identify the right ones. This club and those fans can do it. Throw them out – forever.”
Watzke said Dortmund would look at footage and pictures “to see who we can personally identify. It is clear that the perpetrators we can still identify despite their masks will be punished with a nationwide stadium ban”.
A German Football Association (DFB) spokesman, meanwhile, told Sueddeutsche Zeitung the DFB would take action over the violence.
Over the past five years, Dortmund have been fined a total of 215,000 euros. They are now expecting at least a heavy fine, with a partial exclusion of their fans in a forthcoming home or away game also a possibility.