Borussia Dortmund supporters protested inflating match ticket costs with a bizarre display during their side’s 3-1 German Cup victory over Stuttgart on Tuesday evening.
With the scores level at 1-1, Dortmund fans bombarded the playing surface at Stuttgart’s Mercedes-Benz Arena with hundreds of tennis balls.
The game was halted as players from both sides were forced to clear the pitch of the luminous yellow balls.
The fans also unveiled a banner saying “Football should be affordable” and spent the first 20 minutes of the game stood in gangways away from their designated seats.
“It’s always good to see fans protesting against bad conditions. Liverpool fans have our solidarity”
While Stuttgart charged home fans £15 for standing tickets, the cheapest tickets in the away end were £30.
A quarter of Dortmund fans’ tickets were sold £55, a marked increase on what they were charged at Stuttgart last season.
Dortmund fans have repeatedly protested at what they believe is unfair pricing, demonstrating earlier this season when charged £43 at Hoffenheim.
Traditionally, German football offers the best value in Europe with top-flight Bundesliga tickets averaging £23.02. An average Premier League ticket costs £53.76, while Spanish fans fork out an average of £50.83.
Former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp has seen Liverpool fans stage protests over plans for £77 tickets in the club’s new stand next season. Former Premier League stars Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and Jamie Carragher have added their voices to the growing criticism of the the pricing plans.
Arsenal fans were also outraged as the club planned to enforce a surcharge of up to £30 to season ticket holders for their home Champions League tie against Barcelona on February 23. The Gunners have since backtracked following the outcry.
Dortmund fan Marc Quambusch, one of the campaign group who organised last night’s protest, expressed sympathy towards the 10,000 Liverpool fans who walked out of Anfield in the 77th minute of Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Sunderland.
Quambusch said: “It’s always good to see fans protesting against bad conditions. Liverpool fans have our solidarity.”
Despite their fans’ anger, Dortmund triumphed at Stuttgart. Goals goals from Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrik Mkhitaryan wrapped up a 3-1 victory.