German FA hit Wolfsburg with record fine

Berlin (AFP) – The German FA (DFB) on Monday fined VfL Wolfsburg a club record 90,000 euros ($100,210; £68,494) after a flare fired by one of their fans hit the Hanover bench during a Bundesliga match in March.

The firework was one of several fired by visiting Wolfsburg fans from the away section at Hanover’s HDI Arena on March 1 when the visitors romped to a 4-0 victory.

Just before kick-off, one of the flares hit the roof of the Hanover bench and exploded, forcing the home substitutes to scatter.

The DFB say 40,000 euros of the total fine must be used by Wolfsburg to improve the club’s security arrangements, infrastructure and anti-violence measures.

The German FA has also threatened to ban home supporters from parts of Wolfsburg’s ground for home matches should there be any repeat and the club are on probation until June 2017.

The club have accepted the fine and said they will not appeal.

“Such a high penalty has never been previously imposed on Wolfsburg,” said one of the club’s directors, Thomas Roettgermann.

“We were able to demonstrate conclusively to the DFB that there had not been such a blatant misconduct of our fans to date and there shouldn’t be in the future.”

The March incident was not the first time the use of pyrotechnics marred a Bundesliga match between the north German neighbours.

In December 2014, Wolfsburg fans fired four flares and set off a smoke bomb in the away section of Hanover’s stadium and both clubs were fined 6,000 euros at the time.

Hanover were relegated at the end of the season just ended after finishing bottom of Germany’s top flight.

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