Dortmund fans attack Leipzig supporters

Supporters of Dortmund displaying banners prior to the German First division Bundesliga football match between Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, in Dortmund, western Germany on Feb 4, 2017.
Supporters of Dortmund displaying banners prior to the German First division Bundesliga football match between Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, in Dortmund, western Germany on Feb 4, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN • "Extremely violent" Borussia Dortmund fans attacked terrified children and women from visiting RB Leipzig and police made 28 arrests including for possession of explosives, the German authorities said yesterday.

A crowd of 81,360 saw Dortmund's 1-0 home win over second-placed Leipzig on Saturday which kept them third. But there were ugly scenes outside the Signal Iduna Park stadium before kick-off, when some of the 8,500 visiting fans were attacked.

Leipzig were unable to tell SID, an AFP subsidiary, how many of their fans were hurt, but eyewitnesses say at least 10 paramedics treated visiting supporters.

The police weighed in with pepper spray and batons and made arrests for possession of explosives, assault, grievous bodily harm, breach of the peace, insulting behaviour and resisting arrest.

"All in all, there was extreme aggressiveness and violence from Dortmund supporters, which was directed against any person recognised as a Leipzig fan, regardless of whether they were small children, women or families," said a police statement. "In connection with this, four officers and a police dog were injured."

Dortmund said they "deeply regretted the riots" and wished the injured Leipzig fans a speedy recovery.

Leipzig, who are backed by energy drinks giant Red Bull, are widely unpopular among German fans for the commercialism the team are perceived to represent, but Dortmund supporters were particularly unwelcoming.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2017, with the headline 'Dortmund fans attack Leipzig supporters'. Print Edition | Subscribe