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Abandoned match: VfL statement on developments


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VfL Bochum 1848 remains heavily involved in dealing with the incident that led to the abandonment of the Bundesliga match against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday evening (March 18).

Referee Benjamin Cortus had initially stopped the game in the 69th minute after an object was throw and hit assistant referee Christian Gittelmann. The game was abandoned a short time later.

Sebastian Schindzielorz, VfL’s Director of Sport, was able to apologise for the incident and express his regret in a personal conversation with Christian Gittelmann that very evening, coupled with the hope that any injury would not be too serious.

VfL’s crisis contact group, headed by the management team, began to process the incident in a structured and professional manner immediately after the end of the game. To this end, video footage was viewed, tips were followed up and contact was immediately made with the police and security authorities. It was immediately signaled to cooperate with the responsible authorities in the investigation of the perpetrators and to support them in any way possible. All available evidence was handed over to the police. This procedure was then also publicly communicated on Saturday night, combined with the appeal that further eyewitnesses should contact Bochum police department.

In the meantime, Bochum’s public prosecutor’s office has taken over the investigation, and VfL is also giving its full support here. On Monday, March 21, a joint press release from Bochum’s public prosecutor’s office and Bochum’s police headquarters announced the status of the investigation following the mug throwing. It says, among other things, that “by the initiated investigations […] suspicion against a 38-year-old Bochumer” has arisen. In the course of the interrogation, he did not offer any statements. Further investigations are ongoing.”

In addition, we received a letter from the DFB Control Committee, which demands a club statement on the incident by Wednesday. VfL Bochum 1848, which has taken legal assistance in the person of lawyer Horst Kletke, will of course comply with this. Referee Benjamin Cortus has also prepared a special report on the match.

We will examine the facts of the case in accordance with the information available to us and make a statement to the sports court. Before that, and we apologise for this, we will not make any further public statements on the matter due to the pending proceedings. This will happen in due course.

We wish Christian Gittelmann a speedy recovery. In the meantime, VfL head coach Thomas Reis, who was absent on Friday, has also reached the assistant referee by telephone from his domestic isolation and also conveyed his best wishes.


Abandoned match: VfL statement on developments

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