The Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Freiburg was suspended for ten minutes on Friday night amid fan unrest over proposals over a new commercial deal that could be implemented with clubs in Germany.
Former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can was seen approaching fans in the first half in an attempt to calm unrest among fans.
Supporters had expressed their displeasure at the new investment plans by throwing “tennis balls and coins” onto the playing field.
The match was suspended for ten minutes during the first half, before the home team took a 2-0 lead in the match.
Dortmund fans were also seen unveiling a banner behind one of the goals that read “Nein zu Investoren in the DFL”, which translates to “There are no investors in the German Football League (DFL).”
The protests come after German Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs voted to sell an eight per cent stake in the broadcast rights to the country’s two main football leagues for a period of more than 20 years. .
Emre Can was seen talking to fans inside Signul Iduna Park after Dortmund’s match against Freiburg was suspended due to unrest among fans.
Fans threw coins and tennis balls onto the pitch in protest at the German Football Federation’s plans to sell a minority stake in the DFL’s media rights.
Stewards were seen collecting the missiles during the brief first-half interlude.
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Twenty-four of the 36 clubs in the two divisions voted in favor of the measure that would allow the executives of the German Football Association (DFL) to negotiate a deal that could be worth approximately 683 million pounds (800 million euros) and 853 million pounds (1 billion euros). ).
Several private equity firms, including Blackstone Group, CVC Capital Partners and EQT, according to Bloombergsubmitted offers.
The move has sparked great animosity among fans, who believe in the leagues’ traditional values. They are concerned that stakeholders and executives may be pressured to change the current format to suit television rights holders and viewers, to the detriment of fans inside stadiums.
ESPN reporter Archie Rhind-Tutt provided some clarity on the current situation, stating that the move is “not something that will appeal to fans.”
Speaking from the pitch during the match, he said: “The idea is to inject another billion euros into the Bundesliga through private equity investments to make it more competitive at all levels.” This is not something that particularly appeals to fans, as they have made clear with numerous protests over the past two weeks.’
Hamburg’s 2-1 win over Hertha Berlin last week was also delayed by around 32 minutes, and Rhind-Tutt said: “It also rained tennis balls, chocolate gold coins and those little bouncing balls.”
‘Anyway, why? They are against commercialization. They look at what has happened in other parts of Europe and think: “no, that’s not for us.”
Similar scenes also broke out at Hannover’s 4-3 win against Hamburg on Friday night, with fans chaining padlocks to the posts at half-time.
Players were seen gesticulating with the referee after tennis balls and coins were thrown onto the field.
Local fans unfurled banners reading: “There are no investors in the German Football League (DFL).”
“In general, investing in German football is not something that is particularly attractive considering what has happened to many traditional clubs. If we think about private equity’s ties to Saudi Arabia, it’s not something they’re particularly interested in.’
Donyell Malen put the hosts 1-0 up in the 17th minute, knocking the ball into the top right corner of the goal after finding himself with plenty of space inside the area. He counterattacked again just before half-time to score his second of the match, combining with Niclas Fullkrug to double their lead.
More to continue…