Hamburg's Jann-Fiete Arp, 17, to face Freiburg, granted special dispensation
Hamburg have been granted special dispensation from the authorities to play 17-year-old striker Jann-Fiete Arp in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Germany's Youth Employment Protection Act directs that employees aged 17 and under are only allowed to work between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Hamburg, in 15th place, kick off against Freiburg, one spot below them, at 8:30 p.m. on Friday.
Therefore, Hamburg had to ask for permission to play their teenager, who has scored twice in five appearances this season. Arp has started the club's last three games when they have picked up two wins to move out of the relegation zone.
The law says exceptions will be made for "music and theatre performances" and "other events," into which Bundesliga football falls. Germany international Julian Draxler also profited from this exemption in March 2011, playing in a DFB Pokal semifinal for Schalke against Bayern Munich.
Hamburg have a further two evening kickoffs next month against Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach before Arp turns 18 on Jan. 6, after which time he is free to play whenever the club wants.
After scoring two hat tricks and another goal for Germany in five matches at the European Under-21 Championship in May, Arp reportedly caught the eye of clubs including Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus.
However, Arp committed his future to Hamburg when signing a contract through to 2019, saying it "doesn't make any sense to join Chelsea as a 17-year-old."
He also impressed for Germany at the Under-17 World Cup, scoring five goals in five matches, by which time he had already become the first player born in 2000 to play in the Bundesliga, making his debut as a late substitute for Hamburg against Werder Bremen.
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.