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Bayer Leverkusen and Cologne fans clash at Bundesliga game

While German fans can be some of the fiercest in Europe, supporters of Cologne and Bayer Leverkusen are not generally regarded as particularly confrontational.

However, that changed on Sunday afternoon as supporters of either side clashed inside the RheinEnergieStadion during Leverkusen’s 2-0 win in the Bundesliga.

1 FC Koln pyro display - German football pyro display - Bundesliga pyro - vs Borussia Monchengladbach 3
Cologne fans show off their pyro in October 2023. Photo by Icon sport

What happened between Cologne and Leverkusen fans?

Footage posted on X by @thecasualultra shows fans of either club clashing through a barrier keeping each group apart.

A group of between 10 and 20 Cologne supporters try to attack the Leverkusen fans on the other side of the barrier. Some fans try to pull down the fence, and at least one missile – most likely a plastic cup – is thrown by the Cologne fans.

A group of stewards in blue hi-vis vests try to hold back the Cologne fans, and end up getting caught in between the aggression from both sides.

On the other side of the barrier, Leverkusen supporters fight back, wave red flags and taunt the Cologne fans. Stewards on their side of the fence initially seem less concerned, but as the clip progresses appear to spread out between the Leverkusen fans.

What was the context for the clash?

Leverkusen and Cologne are two teams experiencing very different seasons right now. With Leverkusen’s 2-0 win in this fixture, Xabi Alonso’s side went ten points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga, after the Bavarian champions could only manage a 2-2 draw at Freiburg on Friday night.

Cologne, on the other hand, are languishing in 16th in the table, having only won one of their last 11 games. If they finish the season in that position, they will have to play a relegation playoff against the team who finishes third in the 2. Bundesliga to see who will play in the top division next season.


Jamie Barton

A freelance football writer and podcaster, Jamie has appeared on/in the BBC World Service, PA Media, Charlton Athletic FC and Empire of the Kop, among others. He's attended matches all around the world, from Tranmere to Tokyo, and once had his bus home from the 2022 Champions League final in Paris delayed by 28 hours.

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