Attack on referee halts football match

Attack on referee halts football match
A referee was hit in the head by a lighter on Monday, leading the game to be suspended. Photo: DPA.
A game between VfL Osnabrück and RB Leipzig came to an abrupt end on Monday evening after a referee was hit with a cigarette lighter.

With Osnabrück leading at 1:0 about 71 minutes into the DFB Cup game, Leipzig forward Davie Selke got into a dispute with Osnabrücker substitute Michael Hohnstedt, who had started arguing with him from the side of the field.

When referee Martin Petersen tried to intervene, he was hit in the head by a cigarette lighter, thrown from the section of the stadium for the home team, Osnabrück.

The referee disappeared off the field before calling off the game and going to hospital.

“This is of course a debacle for us,” said VfL Osnabrück manager Lothar Gans to DPA. “Someone from out of the 13,000 in the stadium did this, but that is not an excuse. I am very sorry.”

The German Football Association (DFB) said on Tuesday morning that it is investigating the incident and the association’s sport court will decide what to do about the game.

Manager of FB Leipzig Ralf Rangnick said on Facebook that while the team “condemns the unsportsmanlike and unfair actions”, they still ask that the teams be able to play the match again, noting that the crowd had been unruly throughout most of the game.

“Throughout the entire game, there were lighters, drinks and other items being thrown at our players and substitutes while they were warming up. It was therefore definitely not one single perpetrator whose actions led to the game being regrettably interrupted for both sides,” Rangnick said.

“We offer to replay the match because of our team’s values: fairness, family-friendliness, community engagement, sportsmanlike competition and mutual respect.”

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