Abuse forces Kiessling to take action
Bayer Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling has revealed receiving threats online and in the mail since scoring his side's 'ghost goal' in the 2-1 win over Hoffenheim.
The forward's header was off target but ended up in the back of the net after the ball got through a hole in the netting, and he has since been the subject of abuse from users on Facebook for not stating that he saw the ball fall wide of the goal.
On Tuesday, Leverkusen's press officer Meinolf Sprink told SID that the striker's Facebook page has been closed.
Among the threats he has received, a German politician and Borussia Moenchengladbach supporter said he hopes that "the spineless lad breaks both of his legs" on Torfabrik.de, a Gladbach fanzine.
When Kiessling posted a picture of his injured foot following Leverkusen’s 4-0 Champions League victory against Shakthar Donetsk, the politician commented: "Fingers crossed, it falls off."
Those comments, however, were only the cusp of a hate campaign against the 2013 Bundesliga top scorer. "It has not been easy. I even received letters to my home," Kiessling told Express.
When the newspaper asked him whether the letters contained death threats, his answer was: "Let’s put it that way: It was borderline."
The Leverkusen attacker added that he is "jolly glad that it has finally come to an end" and hoped for the storm to calm down.
On Tuesday, Hoffenheim announced that they will not appeal against the German Football Association sports court's decision not to allow a replay of the 'ghost goal' game against Leverkusen.