International

Dortmund 'ultras' plan Red Bull protest

2017-10-13 21:51
Borussia Dortmund (AFP)

Dortmund - Borussia Dortmund's 'ultras' will stage an "anti-Red Bull" march before their game against Leipzig on Saturday, and police aim to avoid the ugly scenes which marred their last meeting in the Ruhr.

In February, Dortmund ultras blocked the Leipzig players' bus on the way to the stadium, and during the game they chanted and waved banners calling for violence. Ten people, including four policemen, were injured as Leipzig fans were attacked.

"Red Bull, get lost - football belongs to us", read a poster publicising the protest in Dortmund, while the ultras' website urged fans to demonstrate.

The Austrian drinks brand is accused by some of using football for the sole purpose of advertising, and is often the target of anger from the Bundesliga's most fanatical supporters.

The German Football Association punished Dortmund by ordering the closure of the rowdy "Yellow Wall" section for a match, but in Leipzig's following game, fans of Borussia Moenchengladbach unfurled banners in solidarity with Dortmund.

This time, police have planned a massive deployment.

"Those who want to challenge or attack our visitors will find us on the way," police officer Edzard Freyhoff said. "Our threshold of intervention will be very low."

Regional police chief Gregor Lange added: "We have to protect the supporters of Leipzig and Dortmund from violent elements and criminals, who do not deserve to be called fans."

Two groups of supporters issued a joint statement online explaining their position: "We will never accept a multi-national company to use football to publicise it.

"In the stadium, our motto will be the same as last year: to show that no money in the world can buy fanaticism, fidelity or a culture of supporters."

RB Leipzig, who shot up from the German fifth tier to the Bundesliga in seven years thanks to Red Bull's investments, won over some support from the general public last season by being the only team to challenge Bayern Munich, finishing in second place.

Read more on:    red bull  |  borussia dortmnud  |  bundesliga  |  soccer
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