Hansi Flick and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called the Bayern Munich fans who protested against Hoffenheim backer Dietmar Hopp "idiots" as the Bundesliga leader's 6-0 win was overshadowed by incidents in the stands.
Bayern cantered to a third successive Bundesliga win to go four points clear of RB Leipzig, Philippe Coutinho scoring twice while Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Joshua Zirkzee and Leon Goretzka were also on target inside the opening 62 minutes. Yet the game was paused with 20 minutes remaining after an offensive banner was unveiled and insulting chants where directed at Hopp, who is an unpopular figure for some in Germany due to his financing of Hoffenheim.
The match was eventually restarted, with a furious Flick having pleaded with his own supporters to stop their chants and remove the banner, and the game's closing stanzas were played in bizarre fashion as both sets of players simply passed the ball between themselves.
"The things that happened have no place here," Flick said at a news conference after the game. "I myself grew up here in this region. I myself have known Dietmar Hopp for over 20 years. I'm just sorry for what happened here. For one thing, because he [Hopp] has done so much for this region.
"But also because each of these idiots who held up these banners has at least one in his family whom Dieter helped or who benefited from - through cancer research or generally through the things that Dietmar Hopp supports in medical research. They should just think about what they are doing."
Along with Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidzic, Flick was among the Bayern contingent who went over to their section of supporters at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena to try and get them to cease their protests. There were similar chants from Borussia Dortmund's fans in their win over Freiburg, with BVB supporters recently banned from Hoffenheim matches for the next two seasons for such incidents.
After Bayern's win, club chairman Rummenigge stood on the pitch alongside Hopp along with the two teams in a show of solidarity. "I am deeply embarrassed about these idiots," Rummenigge said in quotes published on Bayern's website.
"I have to say this: As of today, the moment has come when the whole Bundesliga, the DFB and the DFL has to join together and act against idiots like these. Football's ugly side reared its head here today. I am also deeply embarrassed on behalf of Dietmar Hopp, who is a man of honour and has ensured that not just football but sport across the board in this region has been seen in a positive light.
"I have also apologised to him. However, what happened in the away end is really inexcusable. This is an ugly side of Bayern at a game that was in fact a great day for our team. There is no excuse for these actions. Everything was caught on camera and we will take the firmest of action against those responsible who tarnished the name of FC Bayern today."
- IND vs ENG, 4th Test: Jurel, spinners help India turn things around on moving day
- Ranji Trophy Live Score 2024 Quarterfinals Day 3 Updates: Pujara falls for 46 as SAU loses 8; Baroda concedes lead to Mumbai
- IND vs ENG, 4th Test: Ashwin overtakes Kumble for most wickets in Tests in India
- Honduras striker Elis in hospital after serious head injury
- Pakistan pacer Haris Rauf dislocates shoulder, ruled out of PSL 2024