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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has promised to take "all-out action" against Bayern Munich supporters who unfurled an insulting banner directed at Hoffenheim benefactor Dietmar Hopp during Saturday's 6-0 Bundesliga victory.
There were extraordinary scenes at Hoffenheim's Rhein-Neckar Arena as the teams played out the final 10 minutes by passing the ball between each other following a lengthy delay after the offensive banner was spotted in the corner set aside for visiting Bayern fans.
The entire Bayern team - along with coach Hansi Flick and some of Bayern's top brass including chairman Rummenigge and sporting directord Hasan Salihamidzic - approached the block to remonstrate with fans and plead with them to remove the banner with Bayern already 6-0 up.
After a 20-minute interruption both teams came back onto the pitch and ran down the clock without playing competitively, ending the game with an ovation for Hopp and with Bayern chairman Rummenigge by the billionaire's side in a show of solidarity.
Rummenigge said he was "deeply ashamed of these chaotic people" who have "discredited the name of FC Bayern".
"Today, at the absolute latest, the moment has come when the entire Bundesliga needs to take action against these chaotic people.
"We must all stand together. We have closed our eyes for far too long. This is the ugly face of football."
Despite Rummenigge's calls for fans to be punished, Christian Seifert, chief executive of the German Football League and vice president of the Football Association, indicated after the match that no action would be taken against either side.
In a statement, Seifert said both sides "acted in an exemplary manner in this situation, thereby sending a clear signal to some self-appointed rules of football culture not to tolerate such conduct any longer."
The fans refused to withdraw the banner, prompting a surreal conclusion to a match in which Bayern overcame the absence of injured striker Robert Lewandowski.
With five names on the scoresheet, first impressions suggest that Bayern will have few problems replacing Lewandowski's 25 goals during his expected month-long absence.
Serge Gnabry added to his midweek Champions League brace against Chelsea by putting the visitors ahead after only two minutes.
The score was 2-0 Bayern five minutes later as Joshua Kimmich slotted home a loose ball past Oli Baumann.
With the game barely 10 minutes old and effectively over as a contest, the 28-time German champions showed why they are favourites to secure an eighth-straight Bundesliga shield with some dazzling play.
Dutch teenager Joshua Zirkzee scored his third goal in the top flight, chipping in a ball from Kimmich in the 16th minute, before Philippe Coutinho made it 4-0 in the 33rd minute with a trademark curling strike into the top corner.
The Barcelona loanee scored his second and Munich's fifth just two minutes after the break, toe-poking in a superb assist from Thomas Muller, his 17th of the season.
Leon Goretzka made it six on just after the hour, the Germany international rounding off a move that saw Coutinho and Corentin Tolisso combine perfectly in the box before Goretzka lifted the ball over Baumann.
Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund kept pace with the league leaders with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Freiburg at a windswept Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund grabbed the lead through Jadon Sancho in the 15th minute, with the England winger converting a pinpoint assist from Thorgan Hazard to bring up his 14th goal of the season.
Freiburg went close to finding the equaliser in a nervous final 15 minutes for the home side, however Dortmund's defence held firm as they drew level on points with second-placed RB Leipzig.
Borussia Monchengladbach also kept pace, moving into outright fourth with a 3-2 win away at Augsburg.
Lars Stindl scored two for the visitors, while Ramy Bensebaini also got on the scoresheet.
In Saturday's late game, Cologne compounded Schalke's recent woes with a 3-0 win at home.
Schalke have won only once in the Bundesliga since mid-December and are losing their grip on the European placings.
Cologne fans also rolled out a banner, this time targeting the German FA's decision to ban away fans at games between Dortmund and Hoffenheim for the next two years, saying it amounted to "collective punishment".
Cologne captain Jonas Hector said he supported the fans. "Why should 20,000 people who have supported us for the entire 90 minutes be punished for the actions of a few?"
Updated: March 1, 2020 08:55 AM
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