Dortmund fans offer rival fans place to stay

DORTMUND (Germany) • Hundreds of Borussia Dortmund fans in Germany opened their homes to visiting supporters of a rival team after explosions hitting the Dortmund team bus pushed back a match between the two teams.

Within minutes of confirmation that the Champions League quarter-final first leg had been postponed until yesterday evening, the hashtag #BedsForAwayFans was being used on Twitter to connect stranded Monaco fans with places to stay in the city, the Guardian reported.

The announcement was made to the stadium packed with stunned fans, including families with young children, only 15 minutes before kick-off, according to Agence France-Presse.

Ms Stephanie Lentz, a nurse from Saverne, in the north-east of France, had travelled to the match with her brother and a friend.

She said they received several offers and met Dortmund fan Michael Seine.

"For him, it was (the) natural thing to do. We watched the news together on television, and tonight after the game, we will meet for a drink," Ms Lentz was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

"Some people think football fans are crazy or violent. But the true value of football is what the Dortmund fans made with their hospitality yesterday."

Ms Barbara Welding, a Dortmund fan who lives close to the stadium, hosted two Monaco fans from Maubeuge, in northern France, after offering her home on Twitter.

"It was easy to offer our home. Moreover, I asked myself what I would appreciate in such a situation," Ms Welding said.

Hotel owner and Dortmund supporter Ute Uhlenkltt offered rooms free of charge after hearing that the match had been postponed.

"It was the only thing I could do," she said. "If something happened to my family or children, I would hope someone would do the same for us."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2017, with the headline 'Dortmund fans offer rival fans place to stay'. Print Edition | Subscribe