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Bundesliga player ignores virus protocols to hug ‘life-saver’ manager


Berlin (AFP) – Bundesliga second division footballer Dimitrij Nazarov said he ignored coronavirus health protocols to embrace his team manager, who he said “saved our lives” following a road accident en route to their game at the weekend.

The 30-year-old Azerbaijan midfielder, who plays for Erzgebirge Aue, hugged Thomas Romeyke, who also doubles as the team’s bus driver, after scoring the winner in Friday’s 1-0 victory at Nuremberg.

“I hope that the DFL (German Football League) will turn a blind eye. I know that none of this is allowed and hope that they show some humanity,” Nazarov told broadcaster MDR on Saturday.

Nazarov wanted to thank Romeyke for his quick-thinking at the wheel on the way to Nuremberg.

Romeyke kept his cool when the team bus was hit by flying vehicle parts from an accident on the motorway and managed to emergency brake safely.

“He just saved our lives. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t reacted so quickly? That’s why the goal celebrations went to him,” said Nazarov.

The Aue players were uninjured following the scare, but the driver and passenger in the other vehicle which crashed were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

The top two leagues in Germany restarted last weekend after a two-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 virus.

According to the DFL’s strict hygiene guidelines, players are discouraged from making contact during goal celebrations.

However, the league has already said there will not be sanctions for those who forget the protocol.

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