German fan loses arm after falling onto train line

AP, Monday 21 Nov 2011

A Nuremberg football fan lost an arm after being pushed in front of an approaching train during an altercation with opposing supporters at a station, the Bundesliga club said Monday

The 19-year-old man was in a group of fans returning from Nuremberg’s 4-0 loss at Schalke on Saturday when it became involved in a row with Mainz supporters at Cologne train station. He was pushed in front of an oncoming high-speed train. Emergency surgery failed to save his right arm.

Nuremberg director Martin Bader said the club heard the news with“disbelief and great sadness.” He denied the fan was a hooligan and offered him and his family Nuremberg’s “full support.”

“We still don’t know the exact circumstances. We can’t and won’t comment on the matter as long as the police continue with the investigation,” Bader said.“That such a serious incident could take place is very tragic. It certainly adds a new dimension to the violence.”

Kicker reported that police arrested a 21-year-old man following the incident in which about 30 people took part, but he is not thought to be the main culprit.

Several violent incidents have marred German Cup and league matches recently, while a police report said the number of people injured at matches in the top two divisions reached a 12-year high last season.

“We note with concern the nationwide developments,” Bader said. “Anyone that feels a bond with football wants peaceful football occasions in and around German stadiums. Sport should be the focus of attention in every rivalry.”

Mainz’s game at Cologne had earlier been called off after the referee attempted suicide hours beforehand. The German Football Federation said Monday that Babak Rafati is recovering well and has been released from the hospital.

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