Bundesliga

Stuttgart president receives death threats after relegation

The police have been called in after the online abuse suffered by Wolfgang Dietrich after the Bundesliga giants lost the relegation playoff to Union Berlin.

Stuttgart president receives death threats after relegation
SEBASTIAN GOLLNOW AFP

VfB Stuttgart’s relegation from the Bundesliga for the second time in five years has caused a considerable amount of consternation among fans of the 2006-07 champions, but as is always the case in the age of social media some of it has “crossed the line” in the view of both the club and the German police.

Stuttgart president Wolfgang Dietrich has been subjected to online abuse and death threats after The Swabians lost the Bundesliga playoff against Union Berlin, which has caused the police to open an investigation. “In our estimation and that of the club, a red line has been crossed,” said Stuttgart police Superintendent Franz Lutz.

Prosecutors considering charges after online threats

One of the images uploaded featured a digger with accompanying text asking if it was preparing Dietrich’s grave while other incendiary imagery was also used. German prosecutors have been handed the images and have opened an investigation into the source of the threats.

Dietrich, who has been at the helm of the club since 2016, faces a presidential election with former Germany international Thomas Berthold, a member of the 1990 World Cup-winning squad, running against the businessman in Sunday’s ballot.