NUREMBERG, Germany – A Nuremberg football fan lost an arm after being hit by a train following an altercation with opposing supporters at a station.
The 19-year-old man was in a group of fans returning from Nuremberg’s 4-0 loss at Schalke on Saturday when it became involved in a row with Mainz supporters at Cologne train station. He is thought to have fallen in front of an oncoming high-speed train. Emergency surgery failed to save his right arm.
Cologne police initially began an attempted homicide inquiry believing the man was pushed, but a state prosecutor told the Nuernberger Zeitung newspaper that witnesses gave a different story.
“They stated that the 19-year-old was running over the tracks when he fell in front of the train,” state prosecutor Alf Willwacher said.
Nuremberg director Martin Bader said the club heard the news with “disbelief and great sadness.” He denied the fan was a hooligan and offered him and his family Nuremberg’s “full support.”
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“We still don’t know the exact circumstances. We can’t and won’t comment on the matter as long as the police continue with the investigation,” Bader said. “That such a serious incident could take place is very tragic. It certainly adds a new dimension to the violence.”
Kicker reported that police arrested a 21-year-old man following the incident in which about 30 people took part.
Several violent incidents have marred German Cup and league matches recently, while a police report said the number of people injured at matches in the top two divisions reached a 12-year high last season.
“We note with concern the nationwide developments,” Bader said. “Anyone that feels a bond with football wants peaceful football occasions in and around German stadiums. Sport should be the focus of attention in every rivalry.”
Mainz’s game at Cologne had earlier been called off after the referee attempted suicide hours beforehand. The German Football Federation said Monday that Babak Rafati is recovering well and has been released from the hospital.