The soccer matches between Hannover 96 and Eintracht are ‘something special because the fans don’t like each other very much. This time, however, the feared riot did not occur.
Bengalos were set off instead of watching the derby: The second half begins with interruption of play. Photo: Peter Steffen/dpa
The second division match between Eintracht and Hannover 96 passed on Sunday without the feared riots. Probably also because the police arrested more than 100 people already on Friday evening after a planned mass brawl of the opposing fan camps. Some were banned from and others were even held in long-term custody until after the high-risk game. In addition, a total of around 1,000 police officers from several German states were deployed. This meant that the spectators in the Eintracht Stadium, which was sold out at 23,000, could actually concentrate on the soccer match. Apart from a Bengalo interruption at the beginning of the second half, the match remained quite peaceful and ended 2:2 (2:1).
The derby of the clubs has a long history and the fan enmity is also based on the fact that the neighboring cities of Hannover and do not like each other very much. Although – or precisely because – they are so similar in many ways. There was great laughter in , for example, when the German Football Association (DFB) forced the Hannover 96 team to play Schalke 04 at ‘s Eintracht Stadium in 1935. At the time, the DFB justified this decision by saying that the match had to be played "in home surroundings." Needless to say, Hannover lost.
Hannover 96 suffered another sporting setback in 1962 when the DFB decided to let Eintracht , and not Hannover 96, play in the then newly founded national league. They still resent the DFB for that in Hannover.
Off the soccer field, however, Hannover has been ahead of its smaller neighbor for several centuries. This is despite the fact that was already a metropolis in the Middle Ages, while Hanover’s rural inhabitants still lived in their villages. But Brunswick’s dominance did not last long; Hanover became a kingdom and Brunswick remained a duchy. Both were ruled by the Guelphs – at least until Hanover was swallowed by Prussia. At the latest since Hanover, and not Brunswick, became the capital of the newly founded federal state of Lower Saxony, Hanover is clearly ahead.
Only in one area do the cities still meet – at least occasionally – on equal terms. Namely, in the derbies of their most important soccer clubs of the cities, founded almost simultaneously in 1895 (Eintracht ) and 1896 (Hannover 96). Officially, 48 games have been played between the two teams so far. Of these, Eintracht and 96 each won 17, while 14 ended in draws.
This season, both clubs will once again be playing in the second Bundesliga. And both clubs fancy their chances of promotion. Eintracht is still top of the table after the draw against Hannover. And the Hannover team is in fourth place, five points behind .
From a sporting point of view, Sunday’s match was of a high second league standard. A derby, as it should be. Passionate, hard-fought and evenly balanced. The goals were scored by Reichel (1:0), Hernandez (2:0), Harnik (2:1) and Karaman (2:2), accompanied by chants of abuse from the opposing fans, bengalos and firecrackers.