Christian Keller didn't beat around the bush. "It really gets on my nerves," said the managing director of 1. FC Köln after the 1-1 draw at OGC Nice in the Conference League.
The impression of the pictures of the riots overshadowed everything shortly before midnight on the Cote d'Azur, even if the football game took place anyway and the FC had fought for a respectable success.
Keller made it clear that the club would try "with all hardness and determination" to identify those involved in the riots. "I don't know if it was 50, 60 or 70. It was definitely very, very few," he said. "But we'll try everything to get as many people out as possible. And then we exclude them, they won't do anything anymore." The consequences for the club are "not yet foreseeable. I don't want to speculate either. There is certainly a wide range."
"Think of the peaceful 7900 boys"
Those responsible for FC had kept the pictures of the events away from their professionals. The news that leaked out was distressing enough. And then the team swore before the 55-minute delayed kick-off. "We said to the team: think of the peaceful 7,900 boys and try to hide everything from them as much as possible," said assistant coach André Pawlak, who stood in for his boss Steffen Baumgart, who was locked in the stands, on the sidelines.
Striker Steffen Tigges, who gave Cologne the lead in the 19th minute at 1-1, was motivated by the pictures of the peaceful fan march through the city at noon. "These pictures remain," said the ex-Dortmunder: "They pushed us. Because the couple of chaotic people stand for the club is not true. The fans who really made the mood, they stand for the club."
The goalkeeper Marvin Schwäbe, who was often outstanding as in the weeks before, saw it similarly. "On the one hand, what happened there isn't worth talking about because it doesn't belong in football," he said, adding: "On the other hand, you have to clearly distance yourself from something like that and say that these people in the have no place in the stadium." And Schwäbe continues: "There were 8,500 fans here, and the majority has a clear head."