BERLIN – Bundesliga games kicked off to uncustomary silence on Tuesday as fans protested against inconvenient kick-off times, increased ticket prices and the general commercialization of the game.
Following through on an “atmosphere boycott” that was announced before the games, Werder Bremen fans stayed silent for the first 18 minutes and 30 seconds of their side’s 3-1 win over Hertha Berlin – Hertha fans waited the planned 20 minutes – while there were similar scenes at Bundesliga matches in Munich, Hannover and Freiburg.
The protests target the German soccer federation (DFB) and German soccer league (DFL) after a dialogue with fans failed to result in a satisfactory outcome for the supporters.
Banners carrying slogans against pay-TV such as, “Imagine it’s football and no one can go,” ”Stop the carve-up of game-days,” and “Football is for you and me – Not for (expletive) pay-TV” were displayed in Bremen’s stadium.
The protests were due to take place Tuesday and Wednesday at all games across Germany’s top three soccer divisions.