DFB rejects Hertha Berlin's appeal for relegation play-off replay

The Blau-Weissen were incensed by the fact that the second leg at the ESPRIT Arena was halted on two separate occasions, for an approximate total of 30 minutes
The German Football Federation (DFB) has dismissed Hertha Berlin's request for their Bundesliga relegation play-off against Fortuna Dusseldorf to be replayed because of crowd trouble.

The Blau-Weissen were demoted after being held to a 2-2 draw at the ESPRIT Arena on May 15, having lost the first leg 2-1.

However, Hertha asked that the second leg be replayed as the game in Dusseldorf was interrupted on two separate occasions, for just over 30 minutes. The DFB, though, has rejected Hertha's claim that their players were unduly affected by the two stoppages.

"The appeal was not successful because no reasons for objection could be found," head of the enquiry Hans Lorenz stated.

"The referee at all times acted according to the rules and Hertha's claim that the team was weakened by the interruptions could not be proved."

However, Hertha have 24 hours to appeal the ruling and, according to Sky Sports, the club have already signalled their intent to take their case to the DFB's highest tribunal, the Bundesgericht.

The first suspension of play occurred just before the hour mark when flares were thrown onto pitch after Dusseldorf had moved 2-1 up on the night, and 4-2 ahead on aggregate.

The game was halted again in injury time when the home side's fans spilled onto the pitch after mistakenly believing that referee Wolfgang Stark had blown the final whistle.

As things currently stand, Fortuna have taken Hertha's position in the German top flight.