Germany: Bundesliga
3 - 1
(1 - 0)
Mainz 05
M. Reus (3), E. Haaland (54), E. Haaland (90)
J. Burkardt (87)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

BVB ultra group explains continued absence from home games

BVB ultra group "The Unity" issued a prepared statement on Friday announcing that they would not return to the South End Curve until more corona-related restrictions were lifted. 

Pointing to different case studies in which fan re-entry has been handled, the group clearly wished to deliver a message to both their club and the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. 
After welcoming just over 40,000 live spectators to Signal Iduna Park for their last league fixture, Borussia Dortmund are preparing to host some 67,000 fans for their round eight encounter against visiting Mainz.

For one of the BVB ultra societies, this certainly counts as a "step in the right direction." It nevertheless remains insufficient for the group "The Unity", which announced on Friday that it would refrain from returning en-masse to the stadium until full privileges for supporters were re-instated.

Such stories are actually commonplace across the Bundesrepublik, where a patchwork quilt of different regulations in the 16 separate federal states are considered a political issue worth pressing for several politically-oriented German footballing ultra groups.

In the state of North-Rhine-Westphalia, even larger stadiums such as Signal Iduna are not technically governed by capacity caps anymore. There still exist some local restrictions that apply to the standing-room-only bleachers many ultra groups typically occupy.

The Dortmund Ultra society pointed to progress made elsewhere. In Bavaria, FC Bayern München and already planning for maximum capacity. "The Unity" also said that they would attend the club's midweek UCL fixture in Amsterdam on the basis that Ajax will fill its venue to capacity.

It should be noted that the actual entry concepts are actually more stringent in Bavaria than NRW. The FCB operates under a "3G*" concept while the BVB maintains the simpler "3G". Bayern requires lab Antigen tests on the same day of the match. Dortmund allows for outside tests from previous days.

After internal discussions, however, "The Unity" felt the need to boycott home fixtures until full normality is restored.

"A south terrace that is only half full does not constitute the proper conditions for the return of our group at this time," their statement read, "Our ideal remains that we can return to a sold-out stadium for the Bundesliga home games as a group and cheer on our team just as we did on a full south terrace before the pandemic."

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