Borussia Dortmund secured a hard-fought victory against Freiburg in another Bundesliga encounter that saw disruptions due to fan protests against a controversial investment proposal by the German Football Association (DFL).
The game, marred by the throwing of tennis balls and chocolate gold coins onto the pitch, showcased both the passion of the supporters and their discontent with recent decisions affecting German football.
After 36 minutes into the match, the game experienced a 10-minute delay as fans in the Dortmund section threw tennis balls and chocolate gold coins onto the pitch.
This act was a form of protest against the DFL’s recent decision to sell some Bundesliga TV rights in exchange for investment capital.
Home captain Emre Can stepped forward to address the supporters before the match resumed, emphasizing the need to maintain the spirit of fair play.
Despite the disruptions, Borussia Dortmund managed to clinch the win, with Donyell Malen scoring two crucial goals and Niclas Fullkrug adding another on his 31st birthday.
The victory extends Dortmund’s unbeaten streak to eight competitive matches.
The match also marked the return of England winger Jadon Sancho, who came on as an 88th-minute substitute.
Sancho, on loan from Manchester United, had a notable chance with a shot saved by Freiburg’s goalkeeper Noah Atubolu, followed by a headed rebound that narrowly missed the target.
The Englishman is still in search of his first goal for Dortmund since his return to the club.
This game is not an isolated incident, as protests have become a recurring theme in the Bundesliga since the DFL’s approval of the investment proposal.
In December, fans disrupted matches by throwing tennis balls during Bochum’s win over Union Berlin and causing a 12-minute stoppage in Heidenheim’s draw with Wolfsburg.
Dortmund’s 4-0 victory at Cologne on January 20 also experienced an eight-minute delay due to similar protests.
The protest trend is not limited to the top tier, as evidenced by the recent protest during Hannover’s 4-3 win over Hamburg in Bundesliga 2.
Hamburg fans went to extreme lengths by chaining six padlocks to the goal and netting during halftime. Play could only resume after the padlocks were cut off.