Leverkusen V Bayern game delayed due to fan protests

AFP , Saturday 10 Feb 2024

Saturday's Bundesliga match between leaders Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich was delayed by 10 minutes before kick-off as fans continued their league-wide protests against the German FA.

Leverkusen V Bayern
A worker picks up sweets thrown on the pitch before the German first-division Bundesliga football match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Bayern Munich in Leverkusen, western Germany on February 10, 2024. Photo: AFP

 

Fans from both the home and visiting sections threw tennis balls, foil-covered coins and other objects on the pitch while chanting slogans critical of the German FA's decision to allow foreign investment.

Players from both sides, who were on the pitch ready to start the hotly anticipated match, kicked the ball to each other and jogged to keep warm while stadium announcers asked fans to refrain.

Earlier on Saturday, the match between Union Berlin and Wolfsburg was delayed by almost an hour due to similar protests, organised by fan groups.

On Friday night, fans at a second-division match between Hamburg and Hannover threw objects onto the field while unveiling banners with several figures in cross-hairs.

One of those targeted was Hannover managing director and benefactor Martin Kind, alongside representatives from German and foreign equity firms.

In December, a two-thirds majority of first and second-division clubs voted in favour of selling off a portion of television rights in exchange for funding to be used to market the league.

Fans in German football, which has rules in place to ensure member ownership of clubs, have been critical of attempts to encourage further foreign or domestic investment in the game.

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