Remote control cars with smoke bombs halt match

Remote control cars with smoke bombs halt match
Two stewards kicked the cars off the pitch before removing them from the stadium

A German Bundesliga 2 match between Hansa Rostock and Hamburg was interrupted on Saturday by remote control cars carrying smoke bombs.

Two cars entered the pitch after 10 minutes, emitting blue and white smoke.

After a brief delay, stewards kicked the cars into touch before removing them so the game could restart.

There have been similar scenes across Germany in protest against a proposed deal to sell a stake in Bundesliga rights to a private equity investor.

Four of Saturday’s five Bundesliga matches were interrupted by protests, with fans throwing chocolate coins and marbles onto pitches.

The protests are in response to a plan from the DFL, the group of German clubs which organises the Bundesliga, to sell off an 8% share of future TV rights in exchange for capital injection to help market and promote the league across the world.

The proposal was approved by a two-thirds majority of German clubs in December, though supporter groups have called for another ballot.

Borussia Dortmund captain Emre Can said the protests were leading players to lose their rhythm in matches.

“At some point, it’s enough,” Can said after his side’s 1-1 draw against Wolfburg.

“We suffer a lot from it. It’s not easy, you lose your rhythm. I hope it will end soon.”

Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel added: “Everyone had the right to stand up for something.

“I just have to be careful when marbles and rubber balls are thrown in my penalty area. It’s a big disruption for me.”

On Friday, the top-tier Bundesliga match between Cologne and Werder Bremen was halted for about 10 minutes when fans threw tennis balls and drove remote control cars on to the pitch.

Hamburg’s Bundesliga 2 match with Hannover last week was delayed when a fan attached a bicycle lock to a goal post, with staff needing a power saw to remove it.

Private investment group Blackstone pulled out of talks with the league last week, leaving CVC Capital Partners as the only prospective buyer.

Blue and white smoke filled one of the penalty areas as stewards chased the cars down
Remote control cars and tennis balls halted Cologne’s match against Werder Bremen on Friday
Staff needed a power saw to remove a bicycle lock that had been attached to a goal post by a fan during Hamburg’s match with Hannover earlier this month

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