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Sports

St Pauli under fire after fans' rage causes match to be suspended

A referee called off a Bundesliga game on Friday when a spectator threw a filled plastic beer cup at a linesman. The result of the match is now in the hands of German soccer officials.

Refeeree holding his neck

St Pauli fans hurt the linesman - and the club's reputation

A German Bundesliga football game was abandoned on Friday less than two minutes from full time after a linesman was hit by a plastic cup filled with beer.

Schalke were leading 2-0 against St Pauli when the linesman, Thorsten Schiffner, was struck by the unexpected missile. Schiffner fell to the ground but was uninjured. The game was halted after consultation with the match referee.

The linesman had earlier disallowed a goal that would have seen St Pauli equalize. The beer-cup incident came shortly after Schalke scored a second goal and St Pauli had two of its players, Jan-Philipp Kalla and Fin Bartels, sent off within 10 minutes of each other.

Lighters and coins thrown

Ralf Rangnick

Schalke coach Rangnick called the cup thrower a "lone idiot"

The referee, Deniz Aytekin, said assistants had been hit by lighters and coins even in the first half. He said the German Football Federation (DFB) would decide on the matter in the coming days.

St Pauli could face a fine or a so-called ghost match, where the club would play a home game without spectators. Coach Holger Stanislawski said the incident was "unacceptable."

"These things should not happen in stadiums. I can only apologize to the assistant in the name of St Pauli," he said.

If the Schalke win is confirmed, it will be the sixth successive defeat for St Pauli, who remain third from bottom in the league tables. Schalke remains in midtable.

The game was Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick's first game in charge after Felix Magath's departure.

It is only the seventh time a Bundesliga soccer game has been abandoned since 1963.

Author: Timothy Jones (dpa, Reuters, AFP, SID)
Editor: Nicole Goebel

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