Borussia Dortmund’s cup quarter-final match against third-division side Sportfreunde Lotte has been called off due to unplayable conditions of the pitch in Lotte on Tuesday evening.
Referee Dr. Felix Brych cited safety concerns as the main reason for the cancellation. “I couldn’t make sure players would stay healthy on this terrain. I talked to both clubs and the DFB and we all agreed this was the best move.”
Lotte’s last two home matches in the 3. Liga had been called off after heavy rainfalls, and those were likely the cause for the cancellation of the cup match, too. The subsoil of the pitch in Lotte’s Frimo Stadion was soaked even before a short snowfall about an hour before kick-off drenched the playing surface even further.
Chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke as well as team captain Marcel Schmelzer welcomed the decision in interviews with German broadcaster ARD.
This picture tweeted by Ruhr Nachrichten writer Florian Groeger shows just how unplayable the pitch was:
— Florian Groeger (@RN_Florian) February 28, 2017
Finding a new date for the match will be difficult due to Dortmund’s busy schedule and Lotte’s already having a number of games in hand in the 3. Liga. Watzke said rumour has it the game will be played on March 14, but Lotte have league matches scheduled for March 12 and 15.
At any rate, Dortmund should at least be fresh for their important home matches against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and Benfica in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday, March 8.