Union Berlin’s fans became the latest set of supporters to protest Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp, with their game against Wolfsburg halted for 10 minutes on Sunday.
Hopp is one of the most controversial figures in the Bundesliga, with the German billionaire one of just three majority owners in the league.
Some fans are opposed to the way he bankrolled Hoffenheim’s rise from the fifth tier of German football all the way to the Bundesliga in the space of just eight years and they are also angry that all Borussia Dortmund supporters have been banned from away trips to Hoffenheim.
That move came in February after Dortmund fans protested Hopp’s ownership, with it viewed as unfair that all supporters were penalised rather than just the ultras who led the protests.
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Ill feeling towards the 79-year-old seem to have escalated this season, with Bayern Munich fans unveiling a banner at their game against Hoffenheim on Saturday which insulted Hopp .
Just a day later, the Union supporters unveiled a large banner of their own which also criticised the German Football Association (DFB).
“Collective penalties abolished in 2017, now currying favour with Hopp,” it read. “Two steps back! F*** you DFB.”
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They also held up an image of Hopp with a target on his head and called him a “son of a b****”.
As a result of the protest, the game was stopped and Union’s head coach Urs Fischer asked the fans to remove the banners.
Speaking after the game, Fischer said: “I understand you want to show your opinion, but it should be with decency and respect. I didn't see that in these banners.
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“It was very uncomfortable for my boys – such an interruption can completely steer a game in the wrong direction. In my view, these posters were completely unnecessary.”
Union ultimately drew the game 2-2 after goals from Sebastian Andersson and Marvin Friedrich were cancelled out by Yannick Gerhardt and Wout Weghorst.
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