Relegated Hertha lose appeal
Hertha Berlin have lost their appeal for a replay with Fortuna Dusseldorf, confirming their relegation from the Bundesliga.
The second leg of the relegation play-off last week was interrupted twice by pitch invaders and flares, delaying the game by more than half an hour. Referee Wolfgang Stark even ordered the players off the field when Dusseldorf fans invaded the pitch in stoppage time, thinking the match was over. Hertha claim that the players were afraid of returning to the field for fear of being injured. They did eventually come back on to the pitch and the remaining time was played out, with the 2-2 scoreline ensuring a 4-3 aggregate win for Dusseldorf, sealing Hertha's relegation after one year in the top flight. Hertha appealed for a replay due to the crowd trouble, but their claims were dismissed by the German Football Federation (DFB). "The appeal was not successful because no reasons for objection could be found," said Hans Lorenz, head the DFB's sporting tribunal. "The referee at all times acted according to the rules and Hertha's claim that the team was weakened by the interruption could not be proved." In response, a Hertha statement read: "For Hertha, it's totally incomprehensible that a player has to be injured in order for the result of match to be overturned. "It should be sufficient that a game has finished amid completely irregular circumstances and the players as a result of the situation could no longer concentrate on the football match."