Dynamo Dresden 'seriously damaged' by Nazi imagery

September 2, 2019

BERLIN (AP) — Two security stewards working for Dynamo Dresden have "seriously damaged" the club by displaying Nazi imagery during a game against St. Pauli, the German team said Monday.

The Saxony-based club, which plays in the second division, has also apologized for a multitude of offensive banners held by fans during Saturday's game. The incidents occurred a day before a far-right party almost tripled its support in local elections.

News agency dpa reported that police have filed charges against the stewards on suspicion of using unconstitutional symbols.

The stewards initially were released from duty after refusing to follow an order from the head of their security firm to remove a Germany flag from an escape route. They then removed their work attire, revealing T-shirts bearing a skull commemorating an SS division, with the words "Third division for security of the German people" written underneath.

"We are stunned because both these people have seriously damaged our club," Dynamo managing director Michael Born said in a statement on Monday. "These stewards will never be used directly or indirectly for events of Dynamo Dresden. We're also considering further legal steps."

Born said the club could not accept the messages shown on banners "because they are inhumane, against our principles and fan charter, and they trample on the values of our sporting community."

Born said he personally apologized to St. Pauli president Oke Göttlich after the game for the banners.

The German soccer federation is investigating. Dynamo could be fined between 18,000-150,000 euros ($20,000-$165,000) for the offensive banners.

It's not the first instance of trouble in games between Dresden and St. Pauli, a politically left-leaning club based in Hamburg. Last December, Born condemned incidents around their game "because they are inhumane and trample on our sporting values."