Ref: 'No choice' over abandonment

Ref: 'No choice' over abandonment

Published Apr. 2, 2011 12:53 p.m. ET

Referee Deniz Aytekin said he had no other choice but to abandon Friday's Bundesliga fixture between St Pauli and Schalke.

St Pauli face the prospect of playing games behind closed doors, but Aytekin said it was unsafe to play the game to its natural conclusion.

"We had to act this way," he said. "There was no room for manoeuvre.

"We had announcements read out and then the linesman gets struck. We had no choice.


"This incident alone was more than enough. It is always a shame when a game has to be ended prematurely."

Aytekin revealed that his assistants had been hit by coins and lighters during the first half of the match and that he had requested an announcement be made over the loud speaker to warn the fans.

However, they did not take any notice and, as tempers flared on the field with two red cards for the home team, the frustration rose off it.

"This is catastrophic," said St Pauli coach Holger Stanislawski.

"There is no explanation for it. I have zero tolerance for such a thing and that should never happen inside a football stadium.

"I can only apologise to the linesman."

St Pauli will now wait to hear what course of action the DFB will take.

There can be no doubt that victory will be awarded to Schalke, whether it be with the 2-0 scoreline from the match as it stood in the 88th minute or a 3-0 forfeit result, but St Pauli's punishment is expected to be greater.

"We have just got to face up to the consequences," said St Pauli's director of sport Helmut Schulte.

"This is a bad day for FC St Pauli."

The DFB's sports committee will decide what action to take next week.

Stanislawski was also disappointed with his side's defending as they allowed Schalke striker Raul too much room to put the Royal Blues ahead in the first half.

"We could have switched the floodlights off and Raul would still have scored," he said.

Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick was delighted with his winning return to the club.

He said: "We are very pleased with the win and we performed well for large parts of the game."