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Soccer-Schalke ban hundreds of Dortmund fans for five years


BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Bundesliga club Schalke 04 have banned almost 500 Borussia Dortmund fans from their stadium for five years after crowd trouble marred this season's Ruhr valley derby.

With the two teams set to meet in Dortmund in March, Schalke said it had banned 498 visiting fans from watching a game at Auf Schalke arena or in the surrounding stadium area until 2019.

"The stadium bans are against visiting fans in the derby who on purpose cause trouble and endanger the safety of all fans, players and officials in the stadium," Schalke said in a statement on Tuesday.

Dortmund supporters destroyed stadium fencing, lit flares and threw them onto the pitch and into the home supporters' stands during their 3-1 win at Schalke in October.

The decision comes three days after clashes between Cologne and visiting Schalke supporters before a friendly game that left one man seriously injured. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

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