Bayern Munich’s 6-0 win at Hoffenheim ended in bizarre fashion as the two sides spent the last 13 minutes of the game chatting and passing the ball between each other, making no effort to add to the scoreline.
The players effectively downed tools after the game was suspended in response to an offensive banner unfurled by the Bayern away fans, aiming abuse at Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp.
The *actual* game: Five things to know…
- Serge Gnabry opened the scoring after just two minutes.
- The two Joshuas (Kimmich and Zirkzee) and Philippe Coutinho all scored to make it 4-0 before the break.
- Coutinho scored again just after half-time, giving Thomas Muller his second assist of the game…
- …and 17th of the season. No one in Europe’s top five leagues has more.
- Leon Goretzka scored the sixth before chaos ensued.
Hopp, Hoffenheim’s owner, is something of a polarising figure in Germany. His wealth has helped the club climb from the fifth tier all the way up to Bundesliga and is one of the few owners in the country that is exempt from the ’50+1′ rule, which states that clubs must be majority-owned by the fans.
Bayern’a travelling support revealed a banner insulting Hopp – they’re known for being a proactive fanbase, as shown by their trip to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday. This occurred in the 67th minute and prompted the Bayern players and coaching staff to ask them to remove it.
After initially being removed, the banner was seen again 10 minutes later. This time, the referee stopped the game and sent the two teams off the pitch for five minutes – this was step two of the German FA’s three-step protocol for official breaks in play, with the third being game abandonment.
Fortunately, this step wasn’t required as, when the teams re-emerged, they decided that any competitive edge remaining in the game was to be dispelled. In truly unique scenes, the final 13 minutes were reminiscent of a kickabout in the park as Hoffenheim and Bayern exchanged passes and agreed to not attempt to add to the scoreline.
• Bayern fans unveil insulting banner toward Hoffenheim owner
• Game stopped on three occasions
• Teams agree to let clock run down without scoring
This is one the of the strangest scenes you will see on a football pitch. pic.twitter.com/huawXAZnaW
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 29, 2020
At the end of the game, the two sides and their respective staff gathered on the pitch in a show of solidarity. Hopp and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the Bayern chairman, were among those who participated.
Rummenigge was quick to voice his displeasure at his own fans after the game in a damning post-match interview.
“As a representative of FC Bayern, I feel deeply ashamed of these hooligans,” Rummenigge said. “I can only say one thing – today the moment has come for the entire Bundesliga, DFB and DFL to take joint action against these hooligans.
“It’s the ugly side of football, I feel deeply ashamed. I have apologised to Dietmar Hopp, who is a man of honour and has positively shaped sport in this entire region, but actually there is no apology for what happened in the stands today.
“It’s the ugliest side of Bayern Munich.”