December 3, 2018 / 9:37 PM / 6 months ago

Soccer-Leverkusen draw at Nuremberg amid fan protests over Monday games

BERLIN, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Bayer Leverkusen played out a rain-drenched 1-1 draw at promoted Nuremberg in the first Monday night game of the Bundesliga season amid fan protests over weekday league matches.

Germany international Kai Havertz slotted home after half an hour on the heavy pitch amidst a constant downpour but Nuremberg drew level with Austrian Georg Margreitter in the 56th.

Despite some late pressure from Leverkusen, who also hit the woodwork, the visitors could not carve out a winner.

With thousands of Nuremberg fans staying away from their seats for the first half to oppose Monday night football and others inside the stadium unfurling protest banners, the game was by no means an advert for the controversial scheduling slot.

German fans feel Monday night football accommodates broadcasters and not the ticket-paying fans who cannot attend matches on a workday as easily as they can on weekends.

The German Football League (DFL) in charge of the Bundesliga has already buckled under fan protests across Germany and last month scrapped Monday night matches from the 2021/22 season onwards. But most fans want to get rid of them now.

The result moved Leverkusen up to 11th on 15 points. Nuremberg are 15th on 11.

Borussia Dortmund lead the standings with 33 points above Borussia Moenchengladbach in second on 26. Champions Bayern Munich are a further two points behind in fourth place. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Ken Ferris)

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