German soccer player Toni Leistner attacks fan in stands

    A soccer player on the losing end of a German Cup match on Monday leapt into the stands and attacked a fan during an interview.

    Video caught Hamburg defender Toni Leistner climbing the stands at Rudolf-Harbig Stadium, grabbing a fan by his shirt collar and slamming him to the ground. Other fans shoved Leistner away before he retreated from the crowd and back onto the field of play.

    Leistner interrupted a postgame interview to initiate the attack, according to reports from the scene.

    Leistner’s Hamburg team had just suffered a 4-1 defeat to Dresden in Dresden’s home stadium in front of 10,000 fans, the largest crowd at a German soccer game since the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions, according to the Associated Press.

    It’s not clear what provoked Leistner, but it appears that the man he attacked was a fan of the opposing team. What, if any penalty — legal or otherwise — Leistner will suffer is also unclear at this point.

    Tony Leistner attacked a fan in the stands on Monday. (Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

    Leistner, 30, is a Dresden native who used to play for Dresden. After a stint in England with the Queens Park Rangers, Leistner returned to Germany this season to play for Hamburg.

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    For American sports fans, the incident is reminiscent of the “Malice at the Palace” the infamous 2004 NBA brawl between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons that spilled into the stands. Though Monday’s incident was considerably more subdued.

    For European soccer fans, the incident looks familiar to Tottenham Hotspur defender Eric Dier confronting a fan in the stands in March.

    Dier received a four-game suspension for the confrontation.

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