Known to victorious Bremen fans as “The Paper Wad of God” – in a play on Diego Maradonna’s infamous World Cup “Hand of God” – the piece of trash tossed on the pitch became famous for interfering with a pass between Hamburger SV defender Michael Gravgaard and goalkeeper Frank Rost on May 7.
Gravgaard was about save the ball from rolling out of bounds by kicking it to Rost. But the it rolled over the wad of paper and bounced, causing the Danish player to hit the ball over the sideline with his shin.
With seven minutes left in the game, Gravgaard’s goof gave Werder Bremen a corner kick, which midfielder Frank Baumann handily headed into the goal, putting his team ahead 3-1 and eventually a slot in the cup final.
Now broadcaster Sat.1 and sports weekly Sport Bild plan to turn Hamburg SV fans’ misfortune and what they call the “craziest football scene of the year” into cash for a good cause.
The station will auction the ball of paper to the highest bidder at 11 pm on Wednesday night and announce the winner on live television during Thursday’s final UEFA Cup game between Bremen and Ukrainian team Schachtjor Donezk in Istanbul, Turkey.
The money earned will go to a charity that Sat.1 will name in the coming days, the station said.
With just hours to go before the end of the auction on Wednesday afternoon, the paper wad had more than 50 bids, approaching a sum of almost €3,000.