A record-setting post-COVID crowd of over 10,000 fans. A rollocking 4-1 upset for the hosting team. Such storylines got their due. Many nevertheless to talk about the post-match behavior of Toni Leistner this morning. The tenuous nature of fans having the privilege to return to stadiums have club and some commentators in an unsympathetic mood.
Official attendance figures at the Rudolf-Habrig-Stadium in Dresden listed 10,053 spectators, making a first round DFB-Pokal fixture between third-tier side Dynamo Dresden and second leaguers Hamburger SV the highest attended live event in Germany since the COVID-lockdown. Pictures from the stadium appear to show fans seated in pre-designated assemblages and largely observing mask regulations.
By and large, it seems many of the issues from the Rostock match did not recur. As if that weren't enough of a talking point, the underdog hosts rode the energy of the crowd to a spectacular 4-1 upset. Such developments were overshadowed, however, by a still larger talking point.
HSV defender Toni Leistner, a Bundesliga veteran who recently returned to country from the EFL last January, entered the stands and to physically assault a taunting spectator in a post-match melee. Leistner is from Dresden and played for Dynamo between 2010 and 2014.
Leistner can expect to receive a multi-match suspension from the country's FA. The fact that the incident accompanied a long-awaited return of fans to Bundesliga stadiums seems to have left some in the country's press in the mood to call attention to fan behavior.
In an editorial this morning for German footballing magazine Kicker, commentator Sebastian Wolff wrote "a match ticket is not a free pass", going on to argue that a professional footballer's compensation does not mean that they must tolerate verbal abuse and that spectators do not buy the right to harass along with their pass.
The club itself swiftly issued a statement reading "It is embarrassing that Leistner was insulted in such a way by a member of his hometown club," adding "We are tempting to locate the person because we do not want this incident to stand."