Fears mount ahead of Bundesliga restart

2015-11-19 09:18
Bundesliga (File)

Berlin - Hamburg host second-placed Borussia Dortmund on in the first of the weekend's Bundesliga fixtures with security under scrutiny after the Paris terror attacks and bomb scare in Hanover.

Bundesliga chiefs insist it will be business as usual in Germany's top two tiers with the weekend's blue riband game seeing Schalke host Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich in Gelsenkirchen, which will be at 79 000 capacity.

But whether the weekend's Bundesliga programme should take place at all has been debated after Tuesday's Germany-Netherlands friendly in Hanover was called off due to a bomb scare, further shaking German football.

It came just four days after the Germany team experienced first-hand last Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris.

Armed police are expected to be seen at most grounds for the weekend's fixtures with the German Football League (DFL) insisting safety is the top priority.

Senior police figures have urged German fans to abandon their usual practise of defying stadium rules by bringing noisy flares into grounds and firing them during matches, which could spark panic in the current tense climate.

There will be a minute's silence before kick-off at all Bundesliga grounds to remember the victims of the Paris attacks which killed 129 people. Players in the top two tiers will wear black armbands.

Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says the show must go on at Hamburg's Volksparkstadion ground.

"There is no alternative. We must show the civil courage and must not allow ourselves to capitulate to fear," he said.

"Or else it allows those (terrorists) to celebrate, who should not be doing so."

Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia admits the scenes from Paris and Hanover have added an element of fear to the German football landscape.

"It is the first time that it (terrorism) comes so close to the football," said the Hamburg boss.

"Of course it troubles us, but I think it's important we play."

Read more on:    germany  |  bundesliga  |  soccer


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