Before the Bundesliga football match of FC Schalke 04 at Union Berlin this Sunday (15.30 pm in the F.A.Z. live ticker for the Bundesliga and DAZN), there has been a violent attack by more than 100 football supporters on members of the Schalke fan scene. Shortly before their planned departure in the direction of Berlin with several coaches, the group consisting of several hundred people, which, according to F.A.Z. information, consisted largely of the organized fan scene, was attacked by hostile ultras and hooligans, as the Gelsenkirchen police announced.

Jan Ehrhardt

Sports editor.

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At least four people were seriously injured, among the injured is reportedly a bus driver. "Rescue workers treated the injured on the spot. Subsequently, they came for inpatient treatment in a hospital," police said.

Police investigate for dangerous bodily injury

The three-digit number of attackers were apparently members of the fan scenes of Borussia Dortmund and Rot-Weiss Essen, who maintain a pronounced rivalry with the Schalke supporters and had probably arranged to meet for this attack. When police arrived, the attackers had already moved away from the scene of the mass brawl, which used baseball bats and other striking tools. Investigations for breach of the peace and dangerous bodily injury had been taken, stressed the forces of order, who had moved out "due to numerous emergency calls" in the early morning.

The attack occurred at 6:22 a.m. As can be seen on videos in social media, which show, among other things, numerous fleeing people, the Schalke Ultras were apparently surprised. It will therefore also be determined to what extent the attack was planned, said a police spokesman. It is unlikely that around 100 violent people meet by chance on a Sunday morning in an industrial area. According to F.A.Z. information, the reason for the violent action could have been a provocation of the Schalke supporters in the direction of the fans from Essen at a Bundesliga match at the end of January.

FC Schalke responded a little later with a statement. "Schalke 04 condemns, as stated in the mission statement, any form of violence and wishes the injured a full recovery." According to the traditional club, the buses with the fans left despite the attack in the direction of Berlin. The supporters wanted to support their team despite the incidents at the Köpenicker.

A day later, Rot-Weiss Essen also commented, condemning the attack "in the strongest possible terms". "Violence and brutality – this is not compatible with the values for which Rot-Weiss Essen and the Hafenstraße family stands. We strongly oppose the fact that the people who commit such acts describe themselves as fans or supporters of RWE," CEO Marcus Uhlig was quoted as saying in a statement from the third-division club. The club promised help in the investigation of the attack. "We are in close contact with the investigating authorities and will support them in the best possible way."