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DFB investigating Monchengladbach for fans' anti-Hoffenheim banner

Borussia Monchengladbach fans displayed an insulting banner at Hoffenheim this weekend.

Borussia Monchengladbach are being investigated by the German football federation (DFB) after their supporters displayed a defamatory banner aimed at their hosts Hoffenheim during Saturday's game.

Ahead of the 3-1 win at Hoffenheim, Gladbach fans presented a tifo highlighting the club's rich history and founding year, 1900. Underneath, a banner accused Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp of "murdering" football.

Gladbach fans also insulted Hopp's mother in a chant, often sung by those fans claiming to represent clubs with a longer tradition in football than Hoffenheim, who are currently in their 10th season in the German top tier.

"It's a shame that we need to apologise for parts of our fans after such an away win," Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl told reporters following the match.

"This behaviour is no fit for us. We don't want anything to do with people who stir up hatred."

Hoffenheim executive Hans Flick, meanwhile, called the chants and the banner "despicable." The former Germany assistant coach added that he hopes "the DFB and DFL [German league] do everything in their power to halt the inhuman comments and sanction them drastically."

And on Monday, the DFB confirmed to news service SID that the association is set to investigate Saturday's incidents. Meanwhile, Bild reported that Hoffenheim is also set to press charges against those displaying the banner.

Elsewhere, Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann issued an apology to a fan he hit with a water bottle following Gladbach's equaliser.

The 30-year-old lost his cool after Thorgan Hazard's 61st-minute strike, and threw a bottle into the stands of the Hoffenheim arena. It hit a 61-year-old fan who was not expecting a projectile from the pitch.

"It's OK, nothing happened," the fan told Bild. "Emotions are part of it. This can happen."

The DFB has yet to comment on the incident. Nagelsmann, who later hugged the fan, said he did not intend to throw the bottle onto the stands.

"It was stupid," he explained to reporters. "It must not happen, and it will not happen again. I wanted to throw the bottle against the wall behind me, but the bottle neck got stuck in my sweater."

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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