There were bizarre scenes in Germany on Saturday afternoon in the Bundesliga clash between Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich at the PreZero Arena.
Bayern were 6-0 up when, in the 77th minute, the game was interrupted when Bayern fans unveiled a banner insulting Hoffenheim’s owner Dietmar Hopp.
The players briefly left the pitch before returning - and then things started to get really strange.
Rather than play on, the two sets of players began passing the ball to each other. Per German football writer Archie Rhind-Tutt on Twitter, the players went out and agreed not to score in the final 15 minutes in solidarity with Hopp.
This resulted in bizarre scenes where the players were literally not trying to beat each other. Instead, red and blue shirts interchanged passes as if they were teammates.
You can watch the footage here…
Rhind-Tutt, the aforementioned German football writer, explained more about the situation on Twitter.
“Hoffenheim-Bayern stopped for a few minutes with Bayern 6-0 up as fans in the away block unfurl a banner.
“’Dietmar Hopp [TSG owner] remains a son of a wh*re.’
“Bayern players run over telling them to stop. So does coach Hansi Flick, shouting at the fans, furiously gesticulating.”
He continued: “Another banner [DH son of a wh*re], game stopped again + referee Christian Dingert takes the players off with Bayern 6 up.
“Loud applause from TSG end. Entire Bayern team go over to plead with their fans. Coach Hansi Flick, Hermann Gerland + Hasan Salihamidzic there too, fuming.”
He added: “So. Hoffenheim and Bayern have gone back out and agreed not to score for the final 15 mins - in solidarity with TSG owner Dietmar Hopp. Hopp stood with Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the touchline as the players lifelessly juggle the ball amongst one other.
“Bayern players going round clapping the Hoffenheim fans who applaud them back. Bayern coach Hansi Flick and Hoffenheim coach Alfred Schreuder talking on the touchline. And the game ends! Wow.”
More context about why Bayern fans are angry with Hoffenheim’s owner was provided by journalist Lars Sivertsen on BT Sport…
The score ended 6-0 and Bayern now sit four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table.
Hoffenheim, meanwhile, are eighth with 34 points.
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