Dortmund mayor urges fans not to gather outside stadium for Schalke derby

The mayor of Dortmund pleaded with fans not to break coronavirus restrictions for the derby with Schalke on Saturday.

Signal Iduna Park, home of Borussia Dortmund   -  Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund fans have been urged not to congregate outside Signal Iduna Park when it resumes its season against rival Schalke on Saturday.

The Bundesliga has been suspended since March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, it was given the green light to get going again behind closed doors, with Dortmund set to host a match that would normally be played amid a raucous atmosphere.

Despite the magnitude and tradition of the fixture, the city's mayor Ullrich Sierau has pleaded with supporters to resist the urge to journey to the stadium and avoid actions that risk further outbreaks of the virus.

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Appealing for fans to stay at home, Sierau said: "Football fans have to protect themselves and everyone else and not meet in groups to watch the derby. They are not allowed to go to the stadium and should not.

"There is still a ban on contact in the city centre. In these times, the solidarity of football fans with one another and with the team should be shown by respecting the restrictions, remaining prudent and not leaving the field to the virus, otherwise they or others can maybe never watch a derby again.

"There shouldn't be a goal celebration as we normally know it in the restaurant and in the outside areas. You should keep your distance - even if it is difficult.

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"So we'd rather all stay at home in a small, family environment and look forward to a hopefully exciting derby there! The 'zero' has to be there - not only in terms of the game result for Schalke on the pitch, but also with the new infections."

Police president Gregor Lange added: "The football fans have the chance on Saturday to prove that the decision to restart the game was not a mistake.

"Refrain from fan marches or football-related gatherings in the stadium surroundings and in the entire city area. The police will be deployed with great strength and have drawn up operational planning geared towards maximum flexibility.

"The aim must be, not only - as in previous derbies - to prevent clashes between the two groups of fans. We will also act consistently against violations related to infection control."

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