A Bundesliga game between VfL Bochum and Borussia Monchengladbach was called off on Friday after an assistant referee was struck in the back of the head by a plastic beer cup thrown by someone in the crowd.
The match was already noteworthy for being the league's first to be played between teams without coaches as Bochum's Thomas Reis and Gladbach counterpart Adi Hutter have coronavirus infections.
Gladbach were leading 2-0 through second-half goals from Alassane Plea and Breel Embolo with around 20 minutes remaining, when assistant referee Christian Gittelman was hit from behind by the beer cup. Gittelman picked the beaker up and threw it aside. He kneeled on the field and rubbed the back of his head, signaling to referee Benjamin Cortus that he was OK, but the match officials all left the field.
Meanwhile, Bochum players remonstrated angrily with their supporters.
After several minutes the stadium announcer said the game was postponed due to an object thrown from the crowd.
Some 15 minutes after the object was thrown, the Gladbach team emerged back onto the field to salute their traveling supporters.
Then the stadium announcer said the game was called off and asked for fans to leave the ground.
Bochum played well as it sought to end a three-game run of defeats. The home team forced the initiative in the first half with Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer doing well to dig out a low shot from Christopher Antwi-Adjei in the 14th minute, and later to stop a header from Armel Bella Kotchap.
After the break, Sommer denied Sebastian Polter before Plea scored against the run of play in the 55th. Luca Netz sent a corner to the unmarked Plea on the edge of the penalty area and the forward's volley took a deflection on its way through a host of defenders inside the far post.
Sommer made another double save but Embolo got the visitors' second goal in the 61st.