DFB delays decision on Hertha relegation | News | DW | 18.05.2012
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DFB delays decision on Hertha relegation

The German soccer federation met for six hours Friday to evaluate Hertha Berlin's appeal over relegation resulting from Tuesday's interrupted match against Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Police clear the pitch of invading supporters at Tuesday's Hertha Berlin, Fortuna Dusseldorf match.

Polizeipräsenz beim Relegationsspiel Hertha BSC in Düsseldorf

The German soccer federation, the DFB, met Friday to rule on Hertha Berlin's appeal over its relegation from the Bundesliga. The panel's decision on how to evaluate the match will not be known until a further meeting on Monday. The referee has filed charges for assault against one of the players in Tuesday's match.

After hearing evidence for more than six hours, the panel decided to adjourn until Monday. A ruling is now expected at about 15.00 CET.

Hertha claimed that its players were prevented from scoring the winning goal in their play-off match against Fortuna Düsseldorf. The goal would have kept Hertha in the Bundesliga. Fortuna Düsseldorf were promoted to the Bundesliga top division as a result of the match.

Match chaos

Hertha drew with second-division club Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-2 after fan interference and fireworks on the pitch forced the referee to halt the game three times. Hundreds of fans invaded the pitch 90 seconds before the final whistle. The referee led the players off the pitch and it took 20 minutes before they were able to return to play the final 90 seconds of added time.

Düsseldorf police confirmed that match referee Wolfgang Stark has filed a criminal complaint against a player for assaulting him off the field. Police spokesman Markus Niesczery declined to say which player or team was involved.

Stark was a key witness during the DFB appeal panel hearing. He accused several Hertha Berlin players of physically or verbally attacking him after the game. Stark will be one of the 12 referees at the forthcoming Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

Any disciplinary action against the clubs or players by the DFB will be taken at a later date. The DFB said it was investigating the Hertha players Levan Kobiashvili, Christian Lell, Thomas Kraft and Andre Mijatovic.

jm/slk (dpa, Reuters)