Berlin - Hamburg host second-placed Borussia Dortmund on
Friday in the first of the weekend's Bundesliga fixtures with security under
scrutiny after the Paris terror attacks and bomb scare in Hanover.
Bundesliga chiefs insist it will be business as usual in
Germany's top two tiers with the weekend's blue riband game seeing Schalke host
Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich in Gelsenkirchen, which will be at 79,000
But whether the weekend's Bundesliga programme should take
place at all has been debated after Tuesday's Germany-Netherlands friendly in
Hanover was called off due to a bomb scare, further shaking German football.
It came just four days after the Germany team experienced
first-hand last Friday's terrorist attacks in Paris.
Armed police are expected to be seen at most grounds for the
weekend's fixtures with the German Football League (DFL) insisting safety is
the top priority.
Senior police figures have urged German fans to abandon
their usual practise of defying stadium rules by bringing noisy flares into
grounds and firing them during matches, which could spark panic in the current
There will be a minute's silence before kick-off at all
Bundesliga grounds to remember the victims of the Paris attacks which killed
129 people. Players in the top two tiers will wear black armbands.
Also read: Hamburg confirm match as Cologne tighten security
Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke says the show must go on
at Hamburg's Volksparkstadion ground
"There is no alternative. We must show the civil
courage and must not allow ourselves to capitulate to fear," he said.
"Or else it allows those (terrorists) to celebrate, who
should not be doing so."
Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia admits the scenes from Paris
and Hanover have added an element of fear to the German football landscape.
- 'It's important we play' -
"It is the first time that it (terrorism) comes so
close to the football," said the Hamburg boss.
"Of course it troubles us, but I think it's important
Pep Guardiola's Bayern start a busy week in Gelsenkirchen as
they host Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday, then play Hertha
Berlin in Munich the following Saturday in the league.
Unbeaten in this season's Bundesliga, Bayern are five-points
clear and their Champions League defeat at Arsenal is the only blot on their
They will be without Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who
has reinjured the medial ligaments in his right knee which he has already
ruptured three times in his career and is expected to be out for up to four
Like all other clubs, the reigning champions are reviewing
their security arrangements.
"We've been in intensive discussions with the safety
authorities and police for several days. Once these are completed, we'll
provide information," said Bayern's media director Markus Hoerwick.
Hosts Schalke are fifth in the table, but winless in their
last five games in all competitions.
Captain Benedikt Hoewedes is back from a hand injury and
says their best chance of breaking their streak "is by sticking together.
We're always stronger at home."
But coach Andre Breitenreiter, feeling the pressure and guilty
of training ground tantrums lately, exploded: "that was zero
quality!" during Tuesday's morning session.
Third-placed Wolfsburg are at home to Werder Bremen on
Saturday and eager to bounce back from their shock defeat to mid-table Mainz a
fortnight ago, while Bremen are starting to climb the table after three wins in
their last four games.
Wolfsburg's director of sport Klaus Allofs said he will
speak to his four players affected by the Hanover scare -- Germany's Julian
Draxler, Max Kruse and Andre Schuerrle, plus Dutch striker Bas Dost.
"If a player didn't want to play, I would understand
it, but I don't expect it," said Allofs.For
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