Bayern Munich are scheduled to play Hertha Berlin at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on September 28th, but concerns have been raised that the match venue may have to be changed. The Berlin police are afraid that they may not have sufficient manpower at the match because it coincides with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the German capital on September 27th-29th.
The police in Berlin have expressed their desire either to change the venue or the date of the match so as to avoid the heightened risk of something going wrong because the police are overextended.
Hertha Berlin’s head of communications, Marcus Jung said (via kicker) “We want to have clarity as quickly as possible.” All parties involved are working hard to find a mutually beneficial solution — the authorities in Berlin, both sets of fans, and groundsmen at the Olympiastadion, a venue that holds 75,000 people.
One of the real problems of potentially rescheduling of the match is finding a reasonable date when the match could take place. Bayern in particular has little time to rest: a few days after the scheduled date of September 28th, Bayern have a Champions League clash against Ajax at the Allianz Arena followed by a weekend match against Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday, October 6th.
Bayern have a packed fixtures list across competitions until the winter break, making it very difficult to find an appropriate date for a reschedule. A change of venue, perhaps, might be more feasible if the authorities can devise a way to compensate season-ticket holders for Berlin and travelling Bayern fans.
According to kicker, several demonstrations and protests during Erdogan’s visit have already been officially registered, but that is no guarantee all will be peaceful in Berlin. Erdogan’s domestic policies remain highly controversial in Germany, and the Mesut Özil saga with the German National team over the summer has sparked further debate on socio-political issues and Turkish-German relations.