Dortmund supporter handed six-year ban for Nazi salute.
Struggle: Dortmund hopes of a second-placed finish in the Bundesliga suffered another blow with the defeat
Borussia Dortmund have banned a supporter for the next six years, after he was heard shouting the Nazi phrase ‘Sieg Heil!’ during a minute’s silence.
Prior to Dortmund’s shock 3-0 defeat in Hamburg on Saturday, the home club paid their respects to former masseur and club legend Hermann Rieger, who died last week. The silence was disturbed, however, when one Dortmund fan piped up with the offensive shout.
Greeted with boos from other fans, the man was removed from the away block, and later from the stadium. On Tuesday, Dortmund confirmed that they had implemented a stadium ban until the June 30, 2020.
Tribute: Hamburg fans honour the memory of Hermann Rieger prior to their game against Borussia Dortmund
Support: Dortmund are known throughout Europe for their large, colourful and passionate fanbase
Test: Jurgen Klopp will now have to rally Dortmund for their Champions League game against Zenit
To shout ‘Sieg Heil’ is illegal in Germany, and the 33-year-old offender, who is reported to have been under the influence of alcohol, is also facing criminal charges.
Dortmund thanked Hamburger SV for their co-operation, and insisted that the club stands for ‘tolerance and diversity’, and that they are using ‘every available means to fight against racism and discrimination’. Directly after the final whistle on Saturday, they informed Hamburg that they would be implementing a three-year ban at least.
It is not the first time that the club has had problems with far right extremism. In November, they banned a fan after he made the Hitler salute at a home game against VfB Stuttgart, and in 2012, reports suggested that right wing extremists were even to be found among the stewards at Dortmund.
Neither is it just in the stadiums. Last autumn, the club won a court case to prevent the Dortmund branch of one far right political party from using the club colours of black and yellow on their campaign posters.
The club were also one of several to distribute a leaflet among fans this season informing them of which gestures, symbols and slogans could be interpreted as racist, offensive and unacceptable.
Crisis: Dortmund have struggled to challenge Bayern Munich because of a number of injuries
Unfamiliar: Dortmund have had problems in defence leaving goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller exposed