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Today saw the opening of what is surely Germany’s most beautiful football stadium with the occasion being marked with a friendly match between BVB and Schalke 04 (0-3) to raise funds for the impoverished BVB. Town mayor Guenter Samtlebe and BVB president did the honours in front of a capacity 54,000 crowd. The stadium has been built with the 1974 World Cup in mind. Following that it will be home to the current regional league side Borussia Dortmund. The stadium has cost 32 million marks to build with the council having contributed just six million, the rest of the funding coming from lottery, the FA and principally from the regional government of North-Rhine Westphalia. The project has attracted a lot of criticism with many raising doubts about the whether such money could not be better spent elsewhere. Dortmund has been given games between Scotland and Zaire, Bulgaria and Holland, Holland versus Sweden as well as a semi-final (which turned out to be Brazil v Holland).
The first goal in the new stadium was scored by a young lady by the name of Margarethe Schaeferhoff at 18:18 in a game between TBV Mengede and VfB Waltrop. Officially, by the way, today’s opening game was unofficial because the German FA (DFB) will officially open the stadium by staging an international between Germany and Hungary there in two weeks’ time.
BVB’s midfield maestro Zoltan Varga will from now on be known as the champion pigeon catcher following his antics at a BVB home game in the Westfalen stadium. Cat-like he crept up on a pigeon which had been commuting between the corner flag and the BVB box for much of the first half. Selling the bird a dummy, Varga pounced and was soon holding the pigeon trophy-like into the sky to resounding applause from the stands. The international handed the bird to groundsman Walter Betzer who duly released the pigeon outside the walls of the stadium.
Borussia Dortmund officially parted company with their coach Otto Rehagel this morning. BVB suffered a 12-0 defeat at the hands of Borussia Moenchengladbach at Düsseldorf’s Rhein stadium yesterday in their last game of the season. Borussia played so woefully that one’s heart went out to reserve keeper Peter Endrulat between the sticks. This result almost contrived to win Gladbach the Bundesliga but 1FC Cologne’s 5-0 win over St Pauli was enough to spare the Bundesliga an almighty scandal.
Rehhagel had been in charge since June 1976. In a proper cloak and daggers move, he had been coaxed away from a job at SV Werder Bremen and, having taken over from Horst Buhtz, taken BVB into the Bundesliga with home and away wins over 1FC Nuremberg.