dhe last of the four DFB Cup quarter-final matches between 1. FC Saarbrücken and Borussia Mönchengladbach was canceled at short notice on Wednesday night after heavy rain. The German Football Federation (DFB) announced that pitch conditions at the Ludwigsparkstadion did not allow the match to be played regularly.
The DFB would like to “announce a recovery date as soon as possible in coordination with both teams.” The draw for the semi-finals will take place on Saturday from 11:00 p.m. in a double draw (Saarbrücken/Mönchengladbach) in the ZDF sports studio. This could lead to an exchange of home rights after the match, because Saarbrücken would definitely enjoy this as a third division club, unlike first division Gladbach. The participants in the semi-finals already determined are Bayer Leverkusen, Fortuna Düsseldorf and 1. FC Kaiserslautern.
Large puddles of water had formed on the grass of the Ludwigsparkstadion in Saarbrücken. Helpers tried to dry the area with leaf blowers, but in the end they couldn't do it enough. There is no functioning drainage. Referee Florian Badstüber initially sent both teams onto the field to warm up, but seven minutes before the scheduled start at 8:45 p.m. the cancellation occurred amidst whistles from the fans. The Gladbach fans set off the fireworks they were carrying.
“Risk of injury too great”
According to Badstübner, the cancellation was inevitable due to the risk of injury to the players. “When you see the field, you can't play on it. “The risk of injury was too great for me,” the referee said Wednesday night shortly after making the decision. “The place is in disastrous condition.”
“Saarbrücken tried everything so we could play. There were a lot of staff on the field to clean the water somehow, but they couldn't,” Badstübner said. “Then, when we were warming up, you saw how the players only warmed up in one place, no matter how broken the field was. Then it became clear that we couldn't play.”
When both delegations arrived at the stadium about two hours before the scheduled start time of the match, they were very surprised. Although it had rained all day in Saarland, most people did not expect the place to be so affected. So the hustle and bustle on the sidelines quickly began, there were many discussions.
The official lineups were published 70 minutes before the scheduled start time. “We have to wait and see what happens,” Mönchengladbach sporting director Nils Schmadtke told the German Press Agency, adding with a laugh: “We definitely don't have rubber boots with us.” When substitute goalkeeper Jan Olschowsky stood in front of him after warming up, completely dirty, Schmadtke said: “My son should come home like this…”
Saarbrücken coach Rüdiger Ziehl was initially optimistic: “Of course we will play.” “The process was completely fine because you have to try everything. In the regional league the match would probably have been canceled much quicker,” said Gladbach sporting director Roland Virkus: “The guys came and said that there are places that, even with the best will in the world, don't work. And weather conditions are expected to get even worse.”
An update date should be found quickly. Neither of us plays internationally, so I think we will find a date,” Virkus said: “Of course, we have to see how long those conditions last for the course to be playable.” One was disappointed by the cancellation, but he saw it there There was also something positive about the cancellation: Patrick Herrmann, Gladbach professional and Saarland native: “Let's come back again,” said the former national player and was looking forward to another visit home.
Saarbrücken sporting director Jürgen Luginger explained: “The ball is not rolling, the risk of injury is too great. That made sense. We will try to repeat it as soon as possible. But there is still rain forecast for the next few days, so I don't know if next week is an option.” Gladbach coach Gerardo Seoane said at the microphone of the Sky television channel: “It is the right decision, even if it is a shame. for them Spectators who wanted to see a show. But that was not possible today.”
Curious: at the end of October Saarbrücken The third division match against Dynamo Dresden was canceled because the field was unplayable after heavy rain. Therefore, the second round cup match against FC Bayern Munich three days later was on the cards for a long time. In the end the match could be played: Saarbrücken sensationally eliminated the record champions and the record cup winners with a score of 2-1.