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Sports

Cologne fans plan demonstration before Gladbach match

A year after they stormed the pitch in Mönchengladbach, Cologne fans are preparing a demonstration ahead of Saturday's match against Gladbach. Gladbach police have taken measures to try to limit the chaos.

Cologne fans are planning a protest against ticket personalization and the restricted number of away fans allowed at the club's match against Borussia Mönchengladbach. It is expected to start late Saturday morning in the main train station in Rheydt and cover a distance of 750 meters. About 1,000 fans are expected to take part.

Gladbach police spokesman Willy Thevessen told the "Rheinische Post" that, "Whoever wants to demonstrate must inform the police. The police can impose conditions that we have used before, but we have to allow the right to assemble."

"Of course we believe it would be better if the Cologne fans would hold their demonstrartion in Cologne," said Gladbach manager Stephan Schippers in a club statement.

Cologne fan representative Rainer Mendel is expecting a peaceful demonstration. "It is officially applied for and approved. We expect everything will be decent and peaceful," he told Cologne-based newspaper "Express".

Cologne and Mönchengladbach fans have butted heads a few times over recent seasons. Some Cologne fans stormed the pitch in Gladbach after the match on Valentine's Day 2015, and Gladbach fans boycotted the most recent match in Cologne in September for requiring tickets with their names on them.

kd/dv (SID)