Dynamo Dresden vs. Hamburg called off due to Chemnitz demonstrations | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 31.08.2018
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Dynamo Dresden vs. Hamburg called off due to Chemnitz demonstrations

Saturday's Bundesliga 2 fixture between Dynamo Dresden and Hamburg has been called off due to demonstrations in nearby Chemnitz, with local authorities saying they don't have sufficient manpower to police both events.

Following the death of a 35-year-old man and the subsequent large-scale extreme-right protests in Chemnitz last weekend, further demonstrations are planned in the city this Saturday.

In Dresden meanwhile, over 30,000 supporters were expected at a sold-out Rudolf-Harbig-Stadion, including 3,000 visiting Hamburg fans - and Saxony police say they don't have the manpower to police both events in the eastern German state. 

"From a sporting point of view, this is an absolute catastrophe," Dynamo Dresden CEO Michael Born told broadcaster Sky. "We had absolutely no say in this decision and we regret the postponement greatly."

Visitors Hamburg, who were relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time last season, were already on their way to Dresden when the news broke. "Of course we would have preferred to play in Dresden tomorrow because we've been preparing all week," said HSV chairman Bernd Hoffmann. "But, like our opponents, we have to follow the instructions of the Saxony state authorities."

Both teams have reassured fans that their tickets will be valid for the re-arranged fixture, and talks will take place early next week to agree on a new date.

- Read more: From the stands to the streets: What does Chemnitz violence have to do with football?

Several demonstrations are planned in Chemnitz on Saturday. A wide-ranging coalition of groups including politicians are planning to demonstrate against racism while several high-profile German bands are set to perform at a late afternoon open-air concert in the city on Monday, taking a stand against racism, violence and xenophobia.

Meanwhile, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and populist movement Pro Chemnitz have called for opposing demonstrations across the city.

"Taking into account the circumstances, we need to be aware that the security forces we need in Chemnitz can have an effect on other events," explained Saxony police chief Jürgen Georgie at a press conference. "We have therefore requested that the match between HSV and Dynamo Dresden be postponed."

mf/jt (SID/DPA)

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