Hamburg player attacks fan in German Cup match

Football

Hamburg’s Toni Leistner entered the stands to pick a fight with Dynamo Dresden supporters after his side’s 4-1 German Cup loss on Monday.

Fans were in attendance for the first time in German football since the coronavirus pandemic shut the sport down in March, and the Dresden-born, former Dynamo player was not happy with some of them, storming up the stairs and trying to throw a Dresden supporter to the ground after the final whistle.

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Stewards and other fans intervened and, after some 20 seconds, Leistner returned to the pitch. It is unclear why the 30-year-old defender — who joined Hamburg from Queens Park Rangers this summer — reacted the way he did.

“I did not see it. I only saw that Toni Leistner returned from the stands,” Hamburg coach Daniel Thioune said during the post-match news conference. “Something must have happened before. But I can’t say anything about it right now. I have not seen any pictures and don’t know what led to it.”

Leistner played for Dynamo from 2010 to 2014. Dresden press officer Henry Buschmann said his actions wouldn’t harm his reputation at the club.

“What I can add is that Toni Leistner has his heart in the right place and is always welcome in Dresden. Emotions are part of football,” he said.

Fans had been allowed in the stadium for the cup match after local authorities approved a proposal made by Dresden which included mandatory masks and social distancing on the stands. The 10,053 in attendance marked a record crowd for the current round of cup matches in Germany.

While all players need to test negative for the coronavirus before being allowed to enter the pitch, the spectators in the stands do not need a negative test result to enter the ground. They are, however, advised to not attend the match should they show any symptoms.

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