Hamburg's Leistner apologises after entering stands to confront fans following DFB-Pokal loss

Toni Leistner HSV
The defender says he was provoked by the crowd but admits he should not have reacted

Hamburg's Toni Leistner entered the stands following his club's DFB-Pokal clash with Dynamo Dresden on Monday with the defender saying the confrontation came after he was verbally abused by fans of his former club.

Hamburg were on the end of a 4-1 loss to Dresden on Monday, with the Leistner suffering defeat against the club he represented from 2010-14.

With several thousand fans allowed in the stadium for the match, the Dresden-born defender stormed into the stands following the match as he attempted to throw a Dresden supporter to the ground.

Leistner returned to the pitch after stewards and fans intervened and, after the match, he revealed that his response was provoked by the verbal taunts from those in the crowd.

"After the match in my hometown, I was verbally abused from the stands. I can usually cope with it. But this was extremely and massively below the belt, against my family, my wife and my daughter," he wrote on Instagram.

"That's when I lost it, even more so because it was already an extremely emotional match for me. Regardless, this should have never happened to me. I am a father who wants to serve as a role model. I apologise in all forms and can only promise that -- no matter what insults are thrown my way -- this will never happen again."

After the match, Dresden were quick to condemn the fans responsible for provoking the incident, promising to investigate what prompted Leistner's reaction.

"Disgraceful post-match insults against Toni Leistner from a fan of his hometown club," the team said in a statement. "We are looking for that person because we will not let this incident stand like that. We'd like to thank 99.9 percent of those attending the match today for their support."

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Leistner signed with Hamburg on August 28, having previously featured for Queens Park Rangers since 2018.

The defender, who has also previously played for Union Berlin, spent last season on loan at Cologne before terminating his contract with QPR this summer.

Now eliminated from the DFB-Pokal, Hamburg will look ahead to life in the 2. Bundesliga as they face Fortuna Dusseldorf on Friday.

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