Dortmund fans asked to stay off pitch
Borussia Dortmund has asked fans to stay off the pitch when the team celebrates winning the Bundesliga title after its final game of the season at home against Eintracht Frankfurt.
''We've experienced a season with so many incredible highlights. The fans shouldn't let it be ruined because they're not allowed on the pitch,'' Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said Friday.
Frankfurt is likely to be relegated Saturday. The game is deemed high risk after riot police used pepper spray to protect Frankfurt players from around 150 of its rampaging fans last week.
The German football association asked for fans to be kept off the pitch when the league trophy will be presented to Dortmund after the game.
Frankfurt chairman Heribert Bruchhagen said any disruption of the title celebrations would be ''the worst case scenario.''
''Everyone must have respect for them and (to) protect the reputation of the club, even in the case of relegation,'' Bruchhagen said.
Bruchhagen and Frankfurt president Peter Fischer issued an open letter on the club website Thursday, calling for fans to show restraint.
''The images after the final whistle (last week) destroyed much of the trust and image built by Eintracht Frankfurt and its fans in the past years and decades. Therefore our very reputation depends on a thread at least as thin as the hope of survival (from relegation) this coming Saturday,'' Bruchhagen and Fischer wrote.
Security will be increased for the game. Dortmund police said Friday that between 400 and 500 troublemakers are expected.
Police appealed to Dortmund supporters to ''respect the fans of the visiting team and avoid any provocation that could lead to riots.''
''This game is not deemed high risk for nothing,'' Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said. ''In its planning, the safety aspect is absolute priority for us.''