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Thursday, September 6, 2012
Row overshadows Hannover successes

Stephan Uersfeld

Despite a fine start to the season in which they have scored 27 goals in only seven matches, the focus on Hannover 96 has turned to matters off the pitch after president Martin Kind hit out at some of the club's fans.

Kind was infuriated when former Hannover player Emanuel Pogatetz was targeted by abusive chants as the club won 4-0 at the defender's new employers, Wolfsburg.

"Some of our fans are not Bundesliga or Europa League class - they are a***holes," Kind said after hearing the abuse from sections of the travelling support.

German media reports, instead of discussing high points so far including Leon Andreasen's outstanding comeback after two years on the sidelines, have highlighted the discord.

Kind pulled no punches during the TV interview in which he made his remarks, also branding some of his club's fans "sub-standard" and adding: "They don't know the rules."

Pogatetz thanked Kind for his intervention, saying: "Mr Kind is a terrific president. He has shown real class." He said he had given his "lifeblood" for Hannover during the two seasons in which he had played for them.

On Wednesday, Kind called for stronger measures to deal with abusive chanting, saying: "We have to change the laws.

"Some 200 people chanted for minutes. Who can we make responsible for it? We have to check how we can punish people or hand stadium bans to them without 100% proving it in the individual case.

"We must be able to react when this many people let off steam in a mass gathering. I say [we should] nip it in the bud."

He said his blunt phrasing when talking about the fans had been used because "it's easier for them to understand if you put it bold and simple than putting it the diplomatic way".




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