Werder Bremen under police investigation for ‘spying’ on rivals with droneDecember 21, 2018
WERDER BREMEN are being investigated by police after a club employee was caught flying a drone over their opponents’ training session.
The German club admitted to the flying of the drone, which took place over Hoffenheim’s training base on Tuesday ahead of their Bundesliga meeting the following day which ended 1-1 – but they deny spying.
It is understood Werder Bremen had a scout sat in a Mercedes E-class around 500m away from the pitch on which Julen Nagelsmann was leading the session.
Bremen’s general manager Frank Baumann conceded they did have someone in the area but denied any illegal activity – in Germany, flying drones over crowds of people is against the law and can reportedly be punished with fines of up to £45,000.
He said: “I can confirm that an employee of ours was there. It is normal in the Bundesliga to find out as much as possible about the opponent.
“We have already taken out observers from other teams from trees or removed them from our stadium.
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“If it came to the use of a drone, it happened without my knowledge or the knowledge of coach Florian Kohfeldt.”
But after initially denying any knowledge of a drone, a statement on Werder’s website read: “Werder Bremen briefly brought a drone into action last Tuesday during TSG Hoffenheim’s training.
“This is the result of a conversation between Werder CEO Baumann, head coach Kohfeldt and employees of the analysis department.”
Then in a press conference today, he added: “A drone was flown for a short period, but didn’t fly over the pitch their team was training on. There was no threat. Everything has been resolved with Hoffenheim.
“We have done nothing illegal. That would go against our club principles. We apologise to Hoffenheim if the incident has unnerved them. This is all we have to say on the matter.”
The drone reportedly captured footage of the warm up and overseeing a training eight-vs-eight match at their Zuzenhausen base.
However, it did not go unnoticed by Hoffenheim’s staff and players.
Hoffenheim spokesman Holger Kliem said: “We have passed the case on to the police, who started an investigation.”
It is understood a criminal complaint was filed against the Werder Bremen scout.
This is thought to be the first time ever a Bundesliga outfit has been caught using a drone to spy on an opponent and comes in the same week that a drone caused chaos at Gatwick Airport.