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Union Berlin keeper Rafal Gikiewicz has said his wife called him an “idiot” after he remonstrated with the club’s fans during the fiery derby against Hertha Berlin.
The first ever top-flight Berlin derby between Union and Hertha last Saturday was suspended twice after fans in the Hertha end lit fireworks and sent rockets into the stands.
Officiated by referee Deniz Aytekin, play continued and Union Berlin won 1-0 thanks to a 90th minute penalty.
There were ugly scenes when a handful of masked Union Ultras invaded the pitch at the Alte Forsterei and tried to break into the away end.
They were stopped by Union keeper Ginkiewicz, who took them on and showed them the way back to the stands.
On Tuesday, he spoke for the first time about his bravery which won him international attention.
Chaotic scenes marred Hertha and Union Berlin’s first ever meeting in Germany’s top flight today.
Supporters stormed the pitch, fireworks were lit and flares were thrown. pic.twitter.com/ZTt9lQXSpN
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 3, 2019
“My wife told me: ‘You are an idiot. You could be hurt.’ But I know quite a few of those people. They are behind my goal every match,” he said. “I just wanted the club to not run into more problems.
“We should have shown class after our win and just remain on our side, dance and sing with our fans. We win the first Bundesliga derby against Hertha. Why are you then stupid enough to run on to the pitch with masks? I don’t get it.
“I told those people in German, in English, in Polish to get back to the stands because the club could face severe punishment.”