Both teams pass ball amongst themselves for last 15 minutes after Bayern Munich fans unfurl hate banner at Hoffenheim owner

This is how the footballers deal with hate speech.

Belmont Lay | March 02, 2020, 01:55 AM

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Hateful banners unfurled by spectators during a Feb. 29 German Bundesliga match between home team Hoffenheim and visiting champions Bayern Munich resulted in players from both sides kicking the ball amongst themselves and refusing to play on normally.

This bizarre turn of events took place during the last 15 minutes of the game.

Hateful banners targeting Hoffenheim owner

The hateful banners were targeted at controversial Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp at about the 66th minute of the game.

Bayern were by then cruising to a 6-0 thrashing against the hosts.

Officials were forced to call the game to a halt.

Bayern fans had unveiled a banner that read "Dietmar Hopp remains a son of a whore".

Bayern coach Hansi Flick, who used to work at their German opponents, ran over to the visiting supporters gesticulating for them to take it down.

Huge arguments in the stands followed as players from both teams stood in solidarity with Hopp.

However, another banner with the same message went up in the stands after players returned to the pitch, causing further anger from players and owners of both clubs.

The players then emerged to continue playing but both sides agreed not to score as they juggled the ball amongst themselves on the pitch for the final 15 minutes.

They also spoke casually while the ball was kicked around.

The rest of the spectators and personnel from both sides applauded in solidarity as that happened.

A subsequent statement posted by Bayern read: "The sporting success of #TSGFCB is of secondary importance, however."

"Due to hateful banners targeting Dietmar Hopp in the FC Bayern fan block, the game was suspended. After returning to the pitch, the teams ran down the clock by passing the ball amongst themselves."

Why Hoffenheim owner disliked

Hopp is not liked among fans of rivals teams due to his involvement in financing the rise of Hoffenheim from the village leagues to the Bundesliga.

He has to date invested around £350 million.

He was granted an exemption from German football's 50+1 ownership rule, which is implemented to ensure the clubs remain in the hands of the supporters.