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St Pauli win spectator ban appeal

St Pauli have won their appeal against a spectator ban at their next Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen.

The German Football Association (DFB) imposed the sanction after an assistant referee was hit by a plastic cup of beer in the match against Schalke on April 1.

St Pauli duly appealed the decision to make them play behind closed doors and a tribunal today upheld their objections.

Instead St Pauli must play their first game next season at least 30 miles from Hamburg and with a maximum of 12,500 fans in attendance.

Manager Holger Stanislawski said: "I have great respect for the DFB control board and the DFB sports court. This is called fair play from a sporting point of view and we very much appreciate that we can host the last two home games this season with the support of our fans.''

St Pauli's director of sport Helmut Schulte, who was at Thursday's hearing in Frankfurt, accepted the new verdict.

"The judgement is better than the previous one,'' he said. "It does not interfere with the current season and our fans will not be punished with exclusion.''

Having the fans in the stadium for their last remaining home games will come as a major boost to St Pauli, who are currently inside the bottom two, two points adrift of safety with five games of the season remaining.

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