Fortuna Back in Action as Bundesliga Makes Controversial Return
Friday, 15th May 2020 14:12
Town’s German sister club Fortuna Düsseldorf get back to action on Saturday as their season controversially resumes following a two-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Germany is the first European country to restart football - albeit behind closed doors - after it was suspended on March 13th, the same day as the Blues’ League One campaign was halted.
Fortuna currently sit third from bottom of the Bundesliga table, a position which would put them in a play-off with the third-placed team in Bundesliga 2 if that was where they were to finish the campaign.
On Saturday they face a big relegation six-pointer against bottom club SC Paderborn - like Fortuna a side Town played in pre-season - with victory potentially closing the four-point gap to Mainz in 15th. The match is being shown live in the UK on BT Sport Extra 2, 2.30pm.
However, football’s return is not uncontroversial in Germany with a Deutschlandtrend poll showing that 56 per cent object to its resumption and only 31 per cent are in favour.
Friedie Schacht from the Fortuna Blues, who have been visiting Portman Road annually since 2006, told TWTD: “The opinions of the vast majority of the Fortuna hardcore fans is quite uniform. We all hate the decision to end the season with these ghost matches.
“We football fans are feeling left alone. The reason for the ghost matches is only money-driven.
“Professional football without fans is no football at all. With corona it is not more than a lottery. One club may have more ill players than the other, began training earlier or later. Our team captain Olli Fink set a good example in my opinion by leaving the [team's] quarantine and going home to his family and to his newborn child.
“What most of us miss isn't the football itself, it is the meetings with our good friends, Fortuna and Ipswich ones alike. If Fortuna gets relegated to the second tier, then that's not nice but we had much worse in the past. So most of us think it would have been the best thing to end the season.
“We want our old sport football back, but I fear the chances for that are very slim. I will be interested in football again when we are all allowed back in the stadium and I don't know if I can be as much excited as before. Modern football showed its very dark side in the last weeks here in Germany.
“That is the opinion of most ‘hardcore’ football supporters I guess, some of the TV football fans might think otherwise.”
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