Things are getting a bit ugly ahead of Sunday’s Lower Saxony derby, in which Bundesliga sides Hannover and Braunschweig meet. On Friday, Hannover officials found a dead sheep hanging from the fence alongside their training pitch. The sheep was painted green, Hannover’s primary color. Next to the sheep hung a sign that read “On Sunday your time is up, you filthy animals.”
“It was a despicable act of some individuals. It is unacceptable and perverse,” said Dirk Dufner, Hannover’s director of sport. It was unclear who had hung the sheep.
This season boasts the first Lower Saxony derby in the Bundesliga since 1985, the year Braunschweig was relegated. The Lions aren’t faring so well this season, sitting dead last in the table with just five wins and twenty-two points overall.
With their side set to drop right back down to 2. Bundesliga, it’s no wonder fans are frustrated. It likely doesn’t help that Hannover looked set to drop as well, for the first time since 2002, but are now five points clear of the relegation spots.
The reverse fixture, played out in November, finished in a goalless draw. That match featured a pig wearing a Hannover scarf released in the city center.
From live pigs to dead sheep – “despicable” is right. No matter the amount of fan frustration, no matter the extent of the rivalry, such actions should always be deemed unacceptable.