Updated: Mar 11, 2021
Fan protests escalated to another level this week. Just seven days after the incredible ending of Bayern Munich’s thrashing of Hoffenheim, where both sides refused to compete against one another, protests continued as a response to an abusive banner about the Hoffenheim president, Dietmar Hopp.
Hopp in 2019. Photo: Sven Mandel via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0
Dietmar Hopp is a controversial figure in German football by virtue of the fact he owns a majority share in Hoffenheim – rather than adhering to the 50+1 fan-ownership rule, which is prevalent across the Bundesliga. Yesterday, fans at Schalke, Freiburg, Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg showed their anger at the German Football Federation’s stance against the banner. Many have been quick to note the DFB’s imposition of collective punishments against fans that protest Hopp’s ownership of Hoffenheim, rather than taking strong action against what many consider to be more pressing issues. For example, the negligent treatment of workers in Qatar building infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup and racism. On the pitch A tight clash between in-form teams Borussia Mönchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund was settled by wing-back Achraf Hakimi, whose goal in the 71st minute secured all three points for Dortmund. Dortmund are now only 1 point behind the red-hot Bayern Münich, who have a game in hand. Winger Paulinho scored a brace as Bayer Leverkusen beat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0, whilst the points were shared between title challengers RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg. Hertha Berlin continue to struggle themselves but were able to salvage a point against fellow relegation battlers Werder Bremen, despite falling to a two-goal deficit within 6 minutes of kick-off.