German soccer fans protest by throwing hundreds of tennis balls

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German soccer fans protest by throwing hundreds of tennis balls

"Clearly, the league and the clubs are prepared to sacrifice our interests for the smallest of financial gains", continued the Frankfurt statement. "It's OK. They won't harm us", Leipzig captain Willi Orban reportedly told referee Felix Zwayer as they waited for the fans who had entered the inner zone to retreat back to the stands.

The remaining two will be played between Matchdays 28 and 32. In contrast, only 17 per cent of this season's games are scheduled during the week.

Leipzig, who missed a chance to go second in the table, had a penalty revoked by the video referee (VAR) and there was also a halftime scuffle in a bad-tempered game played against the backdrop of non-stop whistling by angry supporters.

His side eventually lost the game 2-1.

Fans in Germany will not be able to stop any of this. Instead of singing, fans whistled constantly for much of the game. A high point was reached in the 1991-92 season when over a third of games (36 per cent) took place from Monday to Friday. Several fan groups have announced they will not attend the match. In response to the controversial scheduling decision, Frankfurt fans organized an in-game protest.

"It is obviously not a normal evening, but everything unfolded peacefully", injured Frankfurt forward Alex Meier told Eurosport. "There was no violence and I think the fans' message came across".

Ironically, the visitors to Frankfurt's 51,500-capacity Waldstadion for the Bundesliga's first Monday night game were RB Leipzig - the franchise club created by Austrian energy drink giant Red Bull in 2009 and considered by many German fans to represent the embodiment of over-commercialised football.

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