Pregame preparations were disrupted ahead of a Bundesliga fixture between Heidenheim and RB Leipzig on Saturday. Home Heidenheim fans apparently placed butyric acid in the away section of their own stadium. Around 1,5000 Leipzig supporters made the 215-mile trip to southern Germany for the matchup.

As fans entered the arena and filled their designated area, Leipzig fans began reporting the issue via social media. Butyric acid is an oily, colorless liquid with a particularly distinctive foul odor. In fact, many say that the acid smells similar to sour milk or even human vomit. The compound was apparently first discovered by scientists in rancid butter and is currently a common industrial chemical.

Following the incident, Heidenheim officials cleaned off the section of the stadium to properly accommodate the traveling fans. Executives from the German side also offered appropriate apologizes to their counterparts as well.

“We apologized to our guests from Leipzig before the game and cleaned the guest block as best we could this morning,” Heidenheim board member Petra Saretz told German news outlet Bild. “Of course we will investigate this matter.”

Heidenheim supporters previously protested Leipzig

The questionable event was not the first time that Heidenheim fans directed protests at Leipzig. During a previous encounter between the two teams, Heidenheim supporters threw fake dollar bills with Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz on them towards Leipzig’s team bus. There were even reports that Leipzig players had cups filled with urine thrown at them by the fans.

Mateschitz was an Austrian billionaire and co-owner of the Red Bull energy drink. He helped create the German soccer club in 2009 and turned them into a perennial Bundesliga powerhouse. The move, however, did not go down well with everyone in the country. Leipzig essentially dominated the lower levels of the German soccer pyramid on the way to the top flight.

This quick ascension was regarded by many as controversial. The club was aided by Red Bull’s corporate structure, rather than traditional management of many other soccer teams in the nation. Mateschitz passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer in the fall of 2022.

Leipzig endure acid test to take home three points

After taking care of the butyric acid, the match was eventually played without anymore protests. Leipzig would go on to win the game 2-1, thanks to goals from Benjamin Sekso and Lois Openda. The latter strike came just five minutes from the full-time whistle.

The victory extends Leipzig’s impressive record against newly promoted clubs. In fact, the Red Bulls have now gone 32 consecutive matches without losing to former second-tiered teams. Heidenheim was promoted last summer after winning the 2. Bundesliga a season ago. It is currently their first ever campaign in the German top flight. Despite the lack of experience, the club sits 10th in the Bundesliga table, safe from potential relegation.

Leipzig remains fourth in the current standings following the victory on Saturday. They are now three points ahead of Borussia Dortmund in the table, with the BVB set to play on Sunday. Nevertheless, the Bundesliga will likely get five places in next season’s Champions League. As a result, both Leipzig and Dortmund should soon book their places in the tournament.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Eibner