Fans try to disrupt TV broadcast in protest against Monday night Bundesliga games

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Two fans tried to disrupt a TV broadcast of Borussia Dortmund’s match at Nurnberg amid ongoing fan protests against Monday night games in Germany.

Ahead of Monday’s 0-0 draw between bottom club Nurnberg and leaders Dortmund at the Max-Morlock-Stadion, a group of Nurnberg fans hoped to display a banner in protest of Monday night games in Germany’s top flight during the prematch coverage of broadcaster Eurosport.

They hoped to place the banner between the makeshift TV studio at the stadium and the ground for the TV cameras to see.

In a statement released by Eurosport, the broadcaster added that “two persons tried to get into the TV studio,” but were denied entry by staff and security and one of them was handed over to police.

Nurnberg police confirmed the incident to ESPN FC, saying the fan belonged to a group of Nurnberg ultras and was released after police took down personal data and an assault charge was filed.

Nurnberg condemned the incident in a statement released to media, while the German Football League (DFL) said it would contact clubs hosting the final three Monday night games of the season with the aim of avoiding such controversy and guarantee “good work conditions” for their media partners in the future.

The next Monday game will be held between RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim on Feb. 25. Two more games will be scheduled between matchday 29 and 32 as the TV contract guarantees the rights holder five Monday night games per season.

Having already staged the first Monday night game in November, Nurnberg supporters took the protest to the stands against Dortmund. The match was interrupted several times as Nurnberg supporters threw tennis balls onto the pitch when Dortmund took corners in front of the ultras.

Bundesliga supporters have protested against Monday night fixtures since they returned to the schedule with a new TV contract in the 2017-18 season. In early 2018, Eintracht Frankfurt supporters were the first to protest ahead of and during the first Monday night game of the current TV deal.

They left the terraces before kick-off and surrounded the pitch to protest with the stadium loudspeakers playing The Boomtown Rats song “I Don’t Like Mondays” in the build-up to the match. The fans later delayed the second half by throwing tennis balls on to the pitch.

Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho was among the players pelted with tennis balls during the game at Nurnberg.

A week later, Dortmund recorded their lowest Bundesliga crowd for more than 20 years when only 54,300 attended the 81,360-capacity Westfalenstadion for the Monday night match against Augsburg.

When fans continued their actions into the new 2018-19 season with a silent protest in most Bundesliga stadiums in September and again in November, Bundesliga clubs agreed to abolish Monday night games for the new TV rights period from the 2021-22 season onward.

“But it’s still an issue for the fans, and we must accept that,” Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said on Monday.

Bundesliga fans are not the only to protest against Monday night fixtures across the European top flights. In La Liga, Alaves fans for the first five minutes left the home stand empty in their Monday fixture against Levante earlier this month.

When they returned, they were dressed in black and held up banners reading “RIP Football.”

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