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Dortmund crash, Wolves fume in the Bundesliga

Defending champions Borussia Dortmund crashed to a 1-0 defeat at Hoffenheim on Saturday while Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath demanded the introduction of video replays to correct referee blunders.

Dortmund crash, Wolves fume in the Bundesliga
Photo: DPA

Hoffenheim poached an early lead when Bosnia striker Sejad Salihovic curled in a free-kick after just nine minutes to shock Dortmund and the champions’ attack had a rare off-day as they failed to impose themselves on a determined defence.

Dortmund’s rising teenage Germany star Mario Götze, who orchestrated his country’s 3-2 friendly win over Brazil in midweek, had a quiet game and was taken off by coach Jürgen Klopp after 54 minutes.

Having beaten Hamburg 3-1 last weekend, Dortmund showed none of the self-assurance which secured that victory, despite Klopp re-shuffling his attacking midfield with three second-half changes.

“Hoffenheim got the victory because they showed greater passion,” said Klopp. “In spite of that, we still could have still managed to win the game. Over 40 to 50 minutes, we played well and created a number of chances to score.

“The defeat feels really bad as I didn’t have the feeling we couldn’t have picked up anything here in terms of points.”

Having been shocked at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach last Sunday, Bayern Munich picked up their first win as Brazil midfielder Luiz Gustavo scored in the 91st minute against 2009 champions VfL Wolfsburg.

French play-maker Franck Ribery provided the final pass and Gustavo drilled his shot into the top left-hand corner.

“We were playing against a team who had their heads held high,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, referring to Wolfsburg’s 3-0 win at Cologne last weekend.

“We were very happy to get a goal, even if it came in added time. After the opening defeat to Mönchengladbach, it was exceptionally important to get a point here.”

Bayern were at near full strength, although Dutch winger Arjen Robben was missing because of a back and adductor problem.

Wolfsburg had the ball in the Munich net in the first half, thanks to a header from ex-Germany striker Patrick Helmes, but the effort was ruled offside, leading coach Felix Magath to call for video referees.

“If four referees are not able to assess the situation properly, then it’s time for television referees,” fumed Magath after replays showed Helmes was not offside.

Schalke 04 bounced back from last Saturday’s defeat at VfB Stuttgart with an impressive 5-1 win at home to Cologne as Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a hat-trick.

Hanover and Mainz both picked up their second wins of the season. Hanover – who host Sevilla in a Europa League play-off on Thursday – picked up a 2-1 win at Nuremberg, while Mainz enjoyed a 2-1 win at Freiburg to go top of the table on goal difference.

Hertha Berlin picked up a point in a 2-2 draw at Hamburg.

VfB Stuttgart and ten-man Borussia Mönchengladbach shared a point on Saturday evening.

‘Gladbach had defender Roel Brouwers sent off for a second yellow card while Belgium defender Filip Daems netted a second-half penalty for the hosts before Stuttgart’s Cacau equalized.

Champions League qualifiers Bayer Leverkusen are chasing their first win of the season at home to Werder Bremen on Sunday, while newly-promoted Augsburg are at Kaiserslautern.

AFP/bk

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EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches

The German Bundesliga kicks off on Friday evening with a match in Mönchengladbach. Here's a run-down of the Covid rules for football fans itching to join the crowds at the stadium.

EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches
Crowds cheer at a match between FC Kaiserslautern and Borussia Mönchengladbach, on August 9th, 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uwe Anspach

All eyes will be on Mönchengladbach this evening as the Bundesliga season kicks off with a match against reigning champions Bayern Munich – and this time, a crowd will be present in the stadium.

READ ALSO: German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

With several states liberalising their rules for public gatherings in recent months, many football fans are looking forward to enjoying a lively atmosphere at football matches once more. 

There’s just one problem: there are different rules for different stadiums. Here’s what you need to know about the Covid rules before you book your ticket for any of the upcoming fixtures. 

How many fans are allowed in the stadiums? 

According to a recent decision by the federal and state governments, football stadiums around the country are allowed to fill half of their seats and sell up to 25,000 tickets to fans. 

Of course, how much this limit affects the overall atmosphere – and the football clubs’ bottoms lines – depends on the capacity of the stadium. In Borussia Dortmund this weekend, the full 25,000 tickets have been sold – but that only equates to 30 percent of the stadium’s full capacity.

READ ALSO: German football: Which Bundesliga club should I support?

Meanwhile, in the stadium owned by Berlin’s FC Union, selling just 11,000 tickets is enough to fill half of the available seats. 

What do I need to show to get in? 

That really depends on the stadium in question, although in general anyone over the age of six will need to show a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery – the so-called ‘3G’ rule – to enter the grounds. But other clubs, such as FC Cologne, have decided to only permit people who are vaccinated or recovered to attend matches from August 28th onwards – with exceptions for people who can’t get vaccinated, like children and pregnant woman.

At Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park stadium, however, unvaccinated fans can enter with a negative test, though visitors who’ve stayed in a high-risk or virus variant area over the past two weeks will be unable to enter – along with people who’ve had recent contact with someone who has Covid. 


If you want to see action like this at FC Cologne’s stadium, you’ll need to get your Covid jabs sorted first. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund has taken a middle ground. While the 3G rule applies in principle, only 1,000 of the available 25,000 tickets will be sold to people who are providing a negative test. The remaining 24,000 seats will only be available for those who are vaccinated against – or recently recovered from – Covid. 

If you’re not vaccinated and are keen to see a match, it’s worth checking on your local club’s website beforehand or sending them an email to double-check whether you will be allowed in. 

What else do I need to know about? 

You’ll need to bring a FPP2 mask with you to matches to wear in your seat and while heading to the bathroom or bar, and also observe social distancing rules – meaning staying 1.5 metres apart from your fellow fans.

In most states, you’ll also need to provide your contact details, which will be saved by the club and potentially passed on to local health authorities in order to monitor a potential Covid outbreak. 

Will these rules continue throughout the season?

That’s still an open question. If infection rates in Germany continue to rise or high-profile superspreading events occur at future matches, the government could potentially crack down further on sports events in autumn.

This could involve limiting the seat numbers even further, or (more controversially), introducing a ‘vaccinated-only’ rule for entering stadiums. 

READ ALSO: Should Germany bring in Covid restrictions for unvaccinated people only?

A recent outbreak of Covid in the Mainz football team has also dampened celebrations slightly in the run-up to the start of the Bundesliga – leaving club owners urgently calling for both fans and footballers to get vaccinated. 

Speaking to WDR ahead of the season’s start, FC Cologne’s managing director Alexander Wehrle said widespread vaccination was the best route back to normality – a message reiterated by Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann. 

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