Schalke fans threw a mini 8 ball at ref turned TV pundit

Brooks Peck
October 16, 2011

Someone at Sky Sports Germany decided to put former referee Markus Merk on their pitchside desk in Schalke's Veltins-Arena only a few feet from the fans who still hate him 10 years on from the "stolen championship" he had a hand in. As you can probably imagine, this did not go well.

From the AP:

Merk was an on-pitch panel expert for Sky's live coverage of Schalke's 2-1 loss to Kaiserslautern on Saturday when he was sprayed by beer during the interval. Lighters and other objects were also thrown in his direction.

Gelsenkirchen police spokesman Konrad Kordts told Bild Sunday that three individuals would be "arrested shortly. They will be charged with attempted aggravated assault."

Merk has been unpopular with Schalke fans since the last game of the season in 2001, when Bayern Munich scored from a free kick he awarded in injury time against Hamburg to snatch the title from their side.

One of those "other objects" was a miniature billiards ball. Thankfully, it didn't connect with its intended target, but the shower of random objects thrown from the stands got so bad that a Sky employee had to hold up an umbrella between Merk and the crowd during the broadcast.

Next week on Sky: Tom Henning Ovrebo's road trip to Stamford Bridge.

Photo: Bild/Sky