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FOOTBALL

Dortmund draw most fans in global football

They might be used to coming second to Bayern Munich in the German league table, but new figures show Borussia Dortmund draw bigger crowds than any other football team in the world.

Dortmund draw most fans in global football
Borussia Dortmund's dedicated fans. Photo: DPA

In the 2014/15 season the Ruhr team pulled in a total of 1,36 million fans to their home ground, the Signal Iduna Stadium, despite performing poorly on the pitch – they finished the season in a disappointing seventh position.

Dortmund had an average of crowd of 80,410 at its matches, the figures compiled by Sports Venue 2016 show.

Because Germany still allows for sections of stadiums to be standing areas, the potential to pack in fans is much larger than the rival English Premier League.

But the eight-time Bundesliga Champions are not the sports team with the highest average attendance worldwide.

That honour goes to american football team the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL, who had an average attendance of 90,069 at matches last season.

Nonetheless, because they played less games overall, they still drew in significantly fewer fans (720,558) over the course of the season than Dortmund, who currently lie 2nd in the Bundesliga table.

Bayern Munich also appeared prominently in the list, coming in at number 14. Dortmund’s Ruhr region rivals Schalke 04 placed at number 33.

And eight other Bundesliga teams also made it into the top 100 in a demonstration of the strength of football as a spectator sport in the Federal Republic.

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SPORT

Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

Spain have been thrown out of the 2023 Rugby World Cup for fielding an ineligible South African-born player during the qualifying stages and will be replaced by Romania, World Rugby announced on Thursday.

Spain thrown out of 2023 Rugby World Cup

“Subject to Spain’s right of appeal, the 10-point deduction applied to the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualification table means that Romania will qualify as Europe 2 into Pool B replacing Spain,” read the statement.

Portugal — who Spain beat to seal their place in the global showpiece in France next year — replace Romania in the Final Qualification Tournament taking place in November 2022.

“Spain has a right of appeal within 14 days of the date of the full written decision of the committee,” read the statement.

According to Spanish media in March, the player under investigation was South African-born prop Gavin van den Berg, who has been playing in Spain since 2018.

He played twice against the Netherlands, in 2020 and 2021, in qualifiers, but he may not seemingly have served the three years of residency needed to become eligible under World Rugby rules.

Spain, Romania and Belgium were all sanctioned in 2018 for having fielded ineligible players, opening the way for Russia to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

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