England star Jadon Sancho caught up in German football protest as angry supporters vent their frustration at Monday night fixtures by pelting the pitch with black tennis balls
- Dortmund players were distracted by tennis balls being thrown at them by fans
- Supporters caused half time to be called early with a protest in the stands
- Jadon Sancho was inadvertently struck by the balls at Max-Morlock-Stadion
- Dortmund were held to a goalless draw by Bundesliga’s bottom club on Monday
The Bundesliga fixture between leaders Borussia Dortmund and bottom club Nuremberg on Monday night was overshadowed by a protest by supporters over kick-off times.
Half-time of the game arrived in controversial fashion as for the second time home fans threw black tennis balls onto the pitch, protesting against the Monday night fixture.
With Dortmund waiting to take a corner referee Harm Osmers blew the whistle and took the teams off for safety reasons.
Jason Sancho ducks after being hit by balls thrown by supporters during the first half
The balls were thrown by fans as part of a protest over the Monday evening kick-off time
Protest also included black smoke bombs and eye-catching posters with black middle gingers
Supporters made their feelings about the game being moved to a Monday night very clear
Billows of smoke fill the stadium as the home fans made their views well and truly clear
An image of a man smoking a pipe lined up perfectly with the black smoke from the stands
WHY ARE THEY PROTESTING?
Nuremberg fans were venting their anger at being forced to play on a Monday night.
Monday night fixtures are rare in Germany and were only brought in at the start of the 2017/18 campaign but were instantly hated.
After huge protests, officials decided to abolish them when the current TV deal expires before the 2021/22 campaign.
Then there are expected to be more Sunday games instead of any on a Monday.
Dortmund’s English youngster Jadon Sancho was pictured being inadvertently struck by the missiles, on what was a frustrating night for him and his team.
Supporters held signs showing raised middle fingers and a huge banner criticising the German football federation and other bodies for making Nuremberg play on a Monday night for the second time this season.
Monday night kick-offs which will be abolished in the Bundesliga for the 2021-22 season.
Nuremberg also protested against Bayer Leverkusen in December when they refused to take their places in the north stand of the stadium for the clash.
Dortmund, who were missing Chelsea-bound Christian Pulisic with a thigh injury suffered in last week’s Champions League defeat to Tottenham, struggled to break down the obdurate home defence.
Sancho and Dortmund were held to a goalless draw by Bundesliga’s bottom club
Dortmund winger Sancho dribbles with the ball during the draw at the Max-Morlock-Stadion
Dortmund manager Lucien Favre was left frustrated as his team could only draw at Nuremberg
Home skipper Hanno Behrens had a header brilliantly tipped over by Roman Burki and, from the resulting corner, sent an unmarked header over the bar from just outside the six-yard box after Dan-Axel Zagadou misjudged the cross.
Sancho was denied a penalty at the other end, while Mario Gotze was prevented from scoring several times by Mathenia and Axel Witsel’s shot was deflected wide by Behrens.
The visitors ended the game just three points ahead of rivals Bayern Munich at the summit.