Borussia Dortmund has concluded its internal review of the incidents which occurred in the away section during the match at Union Berlin on 31 August. After an intensive series of discussions with fans, members of staff and other witnesses, the club is calling on the Berlin Police to carry out a critical analysis of the events.
In order to avoid giving off a false impression, Borussia Dortmund would like to make it explicitly clear that it does not tolerate any form of fan violence, including in cases of self-defence! Fans with a history of violence are systematically excluded from the club!
Our analysis of the recent incidents in Berlin have revealed the following: after approximately 100 Union supporters attempted in vain to force their way into the section for away fans, the actions taken by the police force, including the deployment of tear gas, did not serve to deescalate the situation, but rather triggered scenes of panic. BVB considers the deployment of tear gas to have been disproportionate, especially in light of the fact that the make-up of the crowd meant that the tear gas indiscriminately targeted both the vast majority of innocent bystanders as well as the small number of fans engaged in disorderly conduct.
Many peaceful fans in the back of the stand, including parents with children, were left injured teargas. When contacted by the club, the police revealed that the emergency services dealt with a total of 99 incidents related to the match. 23 of these incidents were explicitly related to the effects of tear gas. No information is currently available for the 76 remaining incidents.
The club considers this to be an unacceptable state of affairs. Both BVB fan representatives and members of the staff at the BVB Fan Project were physically accosted and prevented from carrying out their duties. Intervention and conflict resolution were more or less rendered impossible.
In the interests of the many innocent fans that were injured, we are calling on the police to carry out a critical review of their strategy. The events of 31 August were unacceptable, and we sincerely hope that they do not repeat themselves in future.