Et were remarkable words that Frank Buschmann, the commentator for the TV station skyon Saturday at the start of his match summary of the 159th district derby between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 chose. While pictures of Dortmund's south stand with Bengal fire and dense clouds of smoke appeared on the screen, Buschmann said enthusiastically: "Outstanding atmosphere in Signal-Iduna-Park, more, with all due respect, in the Bundesliga is not possible atmospherically."
The many fans who like it when pyrotechnics flare up in the curves because it simply looks nice could look forward to an atmospheric start. On the other hand, here a TV reporter paid homage quite directly to people who might be committing crimes. There has been a lot of confusion in the relationship between the two in the past few weeks ultraswho are often responsible for such actions, and the rest of the football family.
At the European Cup games of Eintracht Frankfurt in Marseille and 1. FC Köln in Nice, there were serious riots this month with many injured and even more traumatized people. After a second division game in August between Magdeburg and Hanover, fans fought indoors and pyrotechnics are being burned off more excessively in the Bundesliga than ever before.
"It left many fans with a bad feeling that football gave the impression during the pandemic that things would always go on, even without fans," says Michael Gabriel from the Coordination Office for Fan Projects (KOS).
"Perhaps there is a motive to show now: We are back and not to be overlooked." In any case, many clubs seem quite surprised after the two years of silence imposed by the virus. The question of how to properly deal with the problematic fans was not the focus for many months, but is still unanswered, as was also shown on Saturday evening in Mönchengladbach.
There, Borussia fans insulted their once highly esteemed sports director when their team beat RB Leipzig 3-0 Max Eberl, who resigned exhausted in January and who is now probably going to RB. On a banner, fans insulted Eberl as a "characterless asshole", before another banner was also directed against Leipzig coach Marco Rose, who was also in Mönchengladbach: "A whore's sons' club only hires whores' sons."
Referee Patrick Ittrich had the messages removed under threat of a game interruption, and Gladbach professional Christoph Kramer said after the game: Such actions "only have to do with pure hatred and have no place in the football and sports world".
The clubs, which often work relatively closely with Ultras because they appreciate the positive aspects of their atmosphere with choreographies and chants in the stadium, seem helpless and sometimes even surprised. "We have never experienced such a day in this form and did not think it possible in this way," says Philipp Reschke from the board of Eintracht Frankfurt on the incidents in Marseille.
It was "very strange what level of aggression and hatred we encountered and of course there were reactions." But there is also a willingness to use violence in Frankfurt, as was shown when Eintracht supporters met in the Bahnhofsviertel in August for what was undoubtedly an agreed altercation with supporters of Lech Posen.