The governing regime of the German federal state of Lower Saxony and the local Wolfsburg police both issued official apologies for subjecting traveling Bremen supporters to a strict control check-point during last weekend's season-opening fixture.
|Wolfsburg Stadium - Volkswagen Arena|
The incident became a major talking point in the Bundesrepublik come Monday morning. Editorial pages across the nation expressed consternation at the measures. The manner in which the security measures were carried out even engendered STASI comparisons in the press and German footballing circles.
Virtually all those commenting publicly have condemned the police actions. VfL managing director Jörg Schmadtke called the measures "an embarrassment for Wolfsburg as a footballing locale". Bremen boss Clemens Fritz, spoke of an "absolute absurdity" while the club's President Hubertus Hess-Grunewald said that the treatment of the fans "violated the spirit of football".
On Friday, the state governing regime and the Wolfsburg police finally issued formal apologies. Lower Saxon interior minister Boris Pistorius (SPD), while citing that there was a fear of pyrotechnics and weapons being smuggled into the arena, said that the inspection point constituted an overreaction.
"To fans have been unjustly searched due to the poorly implemented lawful measure, we apologize for it," Pistorius noted in a statement, "The check-points were unnecessary. Errors must be recognized and owned. Only in this way can things be done better in the future."
"The conditions didn't necessitate the measures," a statement by the Wolfsburg/Helmstedt police added, "the law allows for it, but the [danger] criteria were not met."
Many Bremen fans refused to allow themselves to be subject to the measures and simply went home. The VfL has already confirmed that those who did so will have their matchday tickets refunded.