Dietmar Hopp expresses gratitude for solidarity

One day on from the incidents which blighted the Bundesliga match between TSG Hoffenheim and FC Bayern Munich, Dietmar Hopp has released a public statement.

Dietmar Hopp on…

…the insulting banners:

''It is extremely unpleasant to see such a disgusting display.''

…the worldwide reaction to what happened:

"I witnessed an unprecedented wave of sympathy, as well as a real sense of incomprehension that something like this could happen in a civilised country. This is now TSG's 12th season in the Bundesliga. The seeds of hatred, which were sown back in the 2. Bundesliga, have unfortunately now bloomed. But I sincerely hope that people won't just show such strength and solidarity when the insults are directed against me - insults against any person are to be condemned, no matter what form they take. Above all, racist and homophobic abuse must be punished in the strongest way possible.''

…his engagement in football:

"Although I received death threats from Dortmund fans on 20 December, I won't let these troublemakers drive me away or influence my actions - not in football nor in wider society.''

…the possibility of dialogue with fans and fan representatives:

"I had a conversation with one of these groups back in 2010, but unfortunately, absolutely nothing came of it. They had their preconceived opinion of me, and they weren't interested in changing it. The most recent conversation I had was with 'Schwatzgelb' from Dortmund. I had the feeling that they understood me. We even went to a TSG sports festival together at the Dietmar Hopp Stadium in Hoffenheim. But ultimately, it didn't help - the insults actually increased. That's why I'm no longer open to sitting down and talking. I don't see any sense in dealing with people who I have never done anything to harm, who have been constantly insulting me for years and who don't even want to try and reach an understanding.''

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