Dortmund fans urge Schalke not to gather outside stadium for derby

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Retrieved 14 May 2020, 00:12 IST

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Signal Iduna Park, home of Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund fans have been urged not to gather outside Signal Iduna Park as the season resumes against rivals Schalke on Saturday.

The Bundesliga has been suspended from 13 March due to the Carnavirus epidemic.

However, given the green light to go back behind closed doors, Dortmund prepared to host a match that was usually played in a stressful environment.

Despite the intensity and tradition, the city’s mayor, Ulrich Sierrau, has urged supporters to resist the urge to travel to the stadium and take risky steps to prevent further outbreaks of the virus.

Asking fans to stay indoors, Sierra said: “Football fans must protect themselves and everyone else and should not meet in groups to watch the derby. They are not allowed to go to the stadium and should not.

“Communication in the city center is still restricted. During these times, football fans should show solidarity with each other and with the team, respecting the restrictions, maintaining intelligence and not leaving the field viral otherwise they or others will probably never see the derby again.

“No goal should be celebrated as we usually know it in restaurants and outdoor areas. You should keep your distance even if you have difficulty.

“So we’d all be at home in a rather small, family environment and look forward to an optimistic thrilling derby there! ‘Zero’ should be there – not only in terms of the results of playing Shashal on the pitch, but there are also new infections.

Police President Gregor Lange added: “Saturday’s football fans have a chance to prove that the decision to restart the game was not wrong.

“Refrain from fan marches or football-related rallies around the stadium and throughout the city area. Police will be deployed with a lot of force and operational plans will be drawn up to move towards maximum flexibility.

“The goal, of course, is not the same as in the previous derby – to prevent clashes between fans of the two teams. We will also continue to work against infection control violations.”