Fans frustrated as top CL match airs on Sky

German state broadcaster ZDF left football fans disappointed after failing to secure the rights to air the Champions League match between Dortmund and Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night, because it was on the wrong day.

Fans frustrated as top CL match airs on Sky

ZDF, the go-to channel for terrestrial Championships League coverage in Germany, is not allowed to show the much-anticipated second leg match, which could secure Dortmund a place in the quarter final – the first time the current German champions have got this far in 15 years.

The broadcaster’s spokesman Thomas Stange explained that there was an existing legal agreement meaning the channel has priority over football matches on Wednesdays. “Our hands are tied…we can’t change to Tuesday just because Dortmund are playing,” he added.

Instead, ZDF will air a game between Paris Saint-Germain and Valencia on Wednesday, which is unlikely to interest as many German viewers. Over the season the channel is contracted to show 18 Champion League games.

“I’m sorry for the fans,” said Stange. “Of course this game would have been the much more interesting one, but the situation is unfortunately what it is.”

The first leg of the match, which was broadcast three weeks ago, attracted some 7.52 million viewers, comprising a market share of almost 25 percent.

Dortmund drew 2-2 with Shakhtar Donetsk in the first leg thanks to a late header from Mats Hummel. But the celebrated centre back player is in doubt for this match as he is suffering from the flu, Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp said.

The 24 year-old has already missed both last Wednesday’s German Cup defeat at Bayern Munich and Saturday’s 3-1 home league win over Hannover 96, with his Brazilian replacement Felipe Santana failing to impress.

Dortmund have a strong home record in Europe this season with group stage wins over Ajax, Manchester City and Real Madrid. Midfielder Mario Götze said the German champions are relishing the challenge.

AFP/The Local/kkf

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German football club ends partnership with Russia’s Gazprom

German football club Schalke 04 announced Monday it had prematurely ended its partnership with Russian gas giant Gazprom following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

German football club ends partnership with Russia's Gazprom

The deal between the second-tier German club and Gazprom had been due to run until 2025 with Schalke receiving around €9 million ($10 million) per year in sponsorship.

Had the Gelsenkirchen-based club won promotion back to the Bundesliga at the end of this season, the sponsorship figure would have risen to €15 million annually.

Schalke had already removed the Gazprom logo from their shirts for Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe.

In a statement, Schalke said their finances were “unaffected by this decision”.

“The club’s management is confident that it will be able to present a new partner in the near future.”

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Gazprom representative Matthias Warnig resigned from the club’s supervisory board last Thursday.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, interim president of the German Football Association (DFB), had already hinted there could be financial aid for Schalke if they split from Gazprom.

“If this requires the solidarity of other clubs in Germany to get them out of this situation, then we have to discuss how we can manage that,” Watzke told ZDF.

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