German soccer club Hamburg beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to spare them the humiliation of being relegated to the second tier of German football for next season.
And to say their supporters didn’t take kindly to the news is putting it mildly. According to the Mirror, unbelievable scenes of chaos unfolded in the 90th minute as it became clear that the team was headed for the second division. Angry Hamburg supporters poured onto the pitch hurling flares and fireworks, bringing the game to a complete halt. Dozens of riot police, meanwhile, some on horseback, rushed onto the field and lined up to form a barricade in front of the Hamburg fans amid thick clouds of smoke and pyrotechnics. The game was suspended for 17 minutes until the fires were put out and police gradually left the field so the game could resume and the final seconds be played out.
It was the first time in the Bundesliga’s 55-year history that Hamburg has been relegated.
“This is an extremely painful moment for the entire Hamburg SV,” club President Bernd Hoffmann said. “The club has lost one of its uniquenesses. The diamond and us as a club are strong despite this current moment and we will in the future again reflect that strength. I cannot imagine Hamburg without Bundesliga football.”