Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim players just played the ball between each other to see the game to its conclusion
Bayern Munich and Hoffenheim played out one of the most bizarre conclusions in the history of football as they passed the ball between each other for 13 minutes after a long delay for an offensive banner in the crowd.
Bayern were 6-0 up when their fans unfurled an offensive banner about Hoffenheim president Dietmar Hopp.
The game was delayed for a long time as Bayern’s staff and players begged their fans to put the banner away.
The game eventually restarted from 77 minutes, with fans told it would be abandoned if the banner appeared again. Bayern’s and Hoffenheim’s players then just kicked the ball between themselves – with goalkeepers not in their goals – to get the game to its conclusion.
Hopp is a divisive character in German football, having bankrolled Hoffenheim up from the fifth tier, one of three exceptions to the 50+1 rule which means members must own more than half the shares in their club.
Dietmar Hopp (centre) – the subject of the banner – came on the field at the end
When the banner was unfurled, Bayern coach Hansi Flick and most of the players pleaded – angrily in some cases – with the fans to put it away. Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and board member Oliver Kahn – both former players – also attempted to talk to the ultras.
Referee Christian Dingert took all the players down the tunnel – where they remained for more than 10 minutes – before the banner was gone.
As play started from the time it had stopped – 77 minutes – neither side tried to play any football. Players from the opposing teams flicked the ball to each other and spoke to each other and the referee in the middle third of the pitch – including both goalkeepers.
The referee did not add on any injury time before blowing the final whistle.
More to follow.