Hoffenheim apologizes after Dortmund fans cry foul

AP, Monday 15 Aug 2011

Bundesliga club Hoffenheim has apologized to Borussia Dortmund fans after a high-frequency loudspeaker was used to drown out their singing during their league game on Saturday


In a statement on the club’s website Monday, Hoffenheim said one employee was responsible for producing the noise, described in his own words as a “remedy” to counteract abusive chants directed at the club’s main financial backer Dietmar Hopp.

A Dortmund fan forum appealed for photographic or video evidence Monday, when Kicker magazine reported of a complaint made to police.

Police spokesman Harald Kurzer told Kicker “we received a complaint from a fan in Pforzheim today. We’re looking into a suspected case of personal injury.”

German daily Bild showed pictures of a speaker placed strategically under the visiting fans’ block.

Hoffenheim earlier claimed a fan was responsible, saying in a statement that “allegations of a deliberate action from the host are unfounded.”

However, in a later statement the club said it was taking “appropriate legal and disciplinary action against the employee” and that it was cooperating with the investigation from the Heidelberg police.

“The employee admitted that he was unaware of the consequences of his actions (that were) supposed to have had a rather humorous character,” the statement said.

“Neither the board of Hoffenheim, nor the president (Peter) Hofmann or Mr. Hopp knew of the existence and use of the device used. All those in charge dissociate themselves from this incident and apologize to all football fans whose experience of the game was affected.”

Hoffenheim said it would ensure such an incident would not be repeated.

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