Hitler salute, spinal fracture, violence
Arsonist battle overshadows Frankfurt’s triumph
Eintracht Frankfurt wins a match in the Champions League for the first time. But a 1-0 victory over Olympique de Marseille is, after all, a secondary matter. A week after the riots during the game, violent clashes broke out again between Nice and Cologne. After a fiery inferno, the club is threatened by ghost games.
German spectators display Hitler salutes, fan camps shoot each other with pyro-rockets and firecrackers – a fan is seriously injured: the horrifying footage from the ranks was like a violent thunderstorm over Eintracht Frankfurt’s historic success in the Champions League. “This is a very strange level of aggression and hatred that we have encountered,” complained SGE board member Philippe Reschke.
After a sportingly successful evening at the Olympique de Marseille, it’s all about “that we all return home safe and sound,” he explained. However, it quickly became clear after the final whistle that this would not succeed. An Eintracht fan from Friedrichsdorf was hit in the neck by a rocket during a pyroinferno. According to “Hessischer Rundfunk” (HR), he broke three ribs and a cervical vertebra in a fall from the stairs. “He is stable and out of danger,” Reschke said.
The “state of emergency” watch (Reschke) will certainly have legal implications. Like Marseille, Eintracht is currently on probation in Europe. Following a pitch attack against West Ham in May, UEFA suspended ghost home play for two years. “I’m more afraid of penalties for the away game,” Reschke said, “but I don’t rule out that the probationary period for the home game will come into force.”
“It was not considered possible”
In any case, Oliver Glasner showed “zero understanding” of the unrest: “A few chaotic people are abusing football to live out their brutal aggression,” the coach complained. The situation worsened long before the risky game in the city. On Monday evening, eight people were already arrested after the fight, according to the local prefecture, another 17 people were detained on Tuesday.
Objects were thrown at Eintracht fans’ buses in front of the stadium, and things escalated at the velodrome. In addition to mutual rocket fire, German supporters demonstrated the Nazi salute. Eintracht has distanced itself “very clearly” from the incident, which can be seen in a video circulating online. In this regard, he “cannot imagine that there is a club with a clearer position,” said Reschke.
Overall, the board of directors for fan support, safety and the law saw “significantly more” criminals from Marseille. He estimates a ratio of 15:1. “This is not an excuse and should not protect anyone who responded to this with the same means,” Reschke emphasized: “It was a day that we had never experienced in this form and that we did not consider possible.”
From a purely sporting point of view, this day was historic. Finally, thanks to a goal by Jesper Lindström (43rd), the Europa League champions scored their first points in the premier class with a 1-0 (1-0) score at the top French club. Given the circumstances, the success speaks to “our composure,” midfielder Djibril Sow said.
It was possible to “hide everything else,” added Captain Sebastian Rode. In group D, everything is open again. But it would not be surprising if the hunt for the 1/8 finals continued without their own fans.