Borussia Dortmund call on fans to end protests

The German champions want supporters to put their anger at proposed changes to security behind them and get fully behind the team for the match against Hannover
Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund have urged fans to end plans for a protest during their DFB-Pokal tie against Hannover.

A large number of supporters in Germany are unhappy with the introduction of tighter rules which are spoiling the experience of going to football matches, and have expressed their anger by remaining silent for the opening 12 minutes of various games.

In a letter signed by both coach Jurgen Klopp and captain Sebastian Kehl, the club has asked for supporters to get behind the team and give them an extra push towards victory.

"We know that protests are planned among some fans for the game against Hannover. But we also know that many fans will be supporting us. We ask you not to allow trenches to be dug within the fan community and between you and us," the letter read.

"We have accepted and respected your fears and concerns that triggered the protests in recent weeks. It was not easy playing football in these conditions.

"So we want to ask you, BVB fans, to support us again tomorrow. Loud. Unconditionally. Patient. Just like we know you can. Even for 120 minutes if needed."

The 2011/12 season witnessed the highest number of criminal proceedings at football matches since the turn of the century, and fans have been further angered by plans to bring in tougher stadium checks and sanctions for the use of flares and smoke bombs.