Karlsruher SC supporters lit 180 flares. They had the green light of all safety authorities you might imagine, from their club. They didn't do it during the game or in the stand. And yet the club may face a €63,000 penalty. Absurd, right?
You must have seen the great pyroshow of Karlsruher SC supporters from last weekend, one they prepared in order to properly say good bye to Wildparkstadion. Reactions to this event were very positive, however with one very notable exception.
DFB, the German FA, has launched an inquiry into the show because flares are strictly banned in German football. Each lit flare, or bengalo as the Germans call it, may end up with a €350 fine for the club, which means we're talking about as much as €63,000 for KSC, whose fans set the stadium alight with 180 flares.
If the case seems simple and shut, wait just a moment. First, the pyroshow did not take place during a game. It was part of a separate, registered event, 45 minutes after the final whistle. Second, the flares were not lit in the stands, rather on the running track, by designated supporters. Third, the show had written approvals from the police, fire department and even the building safety supervision authority, which is quite an effort for any supporter-ran display!
Even more, KSC have submitted this event to DFB as part of the official farewell of Wildparkstadion. And yet they may have to face a fine. This was the case in Erfurt when similar display was used to say good bye to former Steigerwaldstadion, before its complete revamp. Circumstances weren't the same, however that reaction from 2014 was also seen as overzealous by some.