By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Darmstadt drop appeal of pyro fine, yet still call for dialogue

Bundesliga side SV Darmstadt 98 confirmed on Friday evening that it would drop a specific appeal of a pyrotechnic fine imposed on them this season.

After announcing that they would not contest the DFB sports court's ruling any further, the club did use the occasion to call for further dialogue on the issue.

SV Darmstadt's appeal of a specific pyrotechnic fine imposed upon them this season by the DFB sports court was seen by many in German footballing circles as a potential catalyst for change on an issue that needs reform. On Friday evening, the Hessen-based club announced that their would drop their appeal of the judgement, yet still used the occasion to call for more dialogue on the issue. 

Pyrotechnic fines have served as a major financial burden for smaller clubs for many years in German football. Rigid financial penalties are imposed on the clubs irregardless of what nature of the specific displays were. Some pyro displays delay matches or endanger both players and stadium patrons whilst others more aptly fall into the category of innocuous choreography. 

The Darmstadt appeal sought to overturn a €43,000 fine imposed on the club after away supporters utilized 43 pyrotechnic objects at an away match against Stuttgart on September 23rd. More broadly, however, the appeal represented an chance to address an issue that will continue to plague German football for years. Despite tight security, Ultras have no problem smuggling pyro sticks into stadiums. 

"As the DFB sports court did not show itself to be in any way open to SV 98's arguments during the hearing or the reasons for the verdict," a statement from Darmstadt read, "the club subsequently decided not to further substantiate the appeal. The club accepts the decision as legally binding." 

At the time of initially lodging the appeal, Darmstadt claimed that "a [financial] sanction imposed the same manner across the board has failed" and called for "credible and constructive dialogue among all stakeholders involved." 

The Friday evening statement reiterated the need for dialogue on the topic while also emphasizing that the club "is in constant exchange with their fan scene to urge them to refrain from using pyrotechnics." 
 

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