Germany: Bundesliga
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E. Demirović (53)
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By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Baumann, Rosen, Ströll, and Brych comment on fire-cracker incident: "Everyone reacted well."

Multiple players, club administrators, and match-official Dr. Felix Brych have registered their comments on a frightening incident at the WWK Arena yesterday. 
Yesterday's 1-1 draw between hosting Augsburg and visiting Hoffenheim was interrupted for five minutes yesterday when a loud bang rang throughout the WWK Arena in the 57th minute. A firecracker believed to have originated from the TSG visitors block left paramedics scrambling towards the stands to attend to casualties. As of Sunday, the latest report holds that 11 spectators suffered minor injuries.

Hoffenheim and German national team keeper Oliver Baumann found himself close to the incident from his place in net. The 33-year-old squad captain - speaking on behalf of the entire team - commented on the scene both in his post-match interview and a Sunday presser. Baumann endeavored to apologize for the purported involvement of TSG supporters.

"I was startled [upon hearing the noise] whilst I was at the far post having a sip of water," Baumann said, "I've never experienced anything like it. We spoke to our active fan scene and they assured us that they had nothing to do with it. We are extremely sad and deeply shocked by what happened and wish those affected a speedy recovery. I hope whoever it was gets banned from the stadium for life."

TSG manager Alexander Rosen and his FCA counterpart Martin Ströll also both commented on the incident. The two administrators were in agreement that match-official Dr. Felix Brych handed the situation in an exemplary manner. Brych called a halt to proceedings, yet refrained from suspending the match altogether. Rosen - like Baumann - noted that he immediately spoke with the traveling supporters and asked for help in identifying the culprit.

"We've never had this problem in 16 years," Rosen said, "Our ultra scene remains rigidly against firecrackers and that is absolutely correct. For me, this is insanity that cannot be put into words. A big apology from the TSG as it can be assumed that the firecracker came from our block. It looks to be the work of one lone madman. This has no place in the stadium or anywhere else."

"Everyone involved, including the emergency services, reacted very well and calmly," Ströll added, "[Rosen's actions] were commendable. It was important that the club officials and refereeing team liaised with each other. Dr. Brych approached us immediately and sought dialogue on whether it was okay to continue playing. Brych and the stadium announcer made clear we would abandon the game if anything further happened."

Brych himself commented in length on the scene.

"I've never experienced anything like it," the veteran referee noted, "I've never heard such a loud bang in a football stadium and I first had to get an overview of the whole situation. You can't prepare for something like this. One must keep a cool head. I made it clear that we would have to leave the pitch if something like that happened again."

"If it had been worse, we would have taken other measures," Brych continued, "I tried to gauge the player reactions and what was happening in the stands. There were scuffles, but things calmed down again. We bear great responsibility for the safety of those involved. I observed the scene and was grateful when everything calmed down again."

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