Bundesliga game called off after attack on linesman


BERLIN, March 19: A Bundesliga linesman was struck in the back of the head by a plastic beer cup thrown from a crowd, forcing the game between Bochum and Borussia Mönchengladbach to be called off on Friday.
The match was already noteworthy for being the league’s first to be played between teams without coaches as Bochum’s Thomas Reis and Gladbach counterpart Adi Hütter have coronavirus infections.
Gladbach was leading 2-0 through second-half goals from Alassane Plea and Breel Embolo with around 20 minutes remaining when linesman Christian Gittelman was hit from behind by the beer cup.
Gittelman picked the beaker up and threw it aside. He kneeled on the field and rubbed the back of his head, signaling to referee Benjamin Cortus that he was OK, but the match officials all left the field. Gittelman appeared shaken as he crossed the field to leave.
Meanwhile, Bochum players remonstrated angrily with their supporters. After several minutes the stadium announcer said the game was postponed due to an object thrown from the crowd. He had already appealed to supporters during the game to desist from throwing items onto the field.
Some 15 minutes after the object was thrown, the Gladbach team emerged back onto the field to salute their traveling supporters.
Then the stadium announcer said the game was called off and asked for fans to leave the ground.
“We can only formally apologize to linesman Christian Gittelmann,” Bochum said on Twitter. (AP)