Bayern, Dortmund games halted as fan protests escalate in Bundesliga

Bayern Munich's 6-0 win against Hoffenheim finished in extraordinary circumstances as the teams played the final 11 minutes passing the ball among themselves following a brief delay caused by supporter protests against Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp.

Borussia Dortmund's 1-0 win against Freiburg was also briefly stopped for the same reason, as BVB supporters continued their recent crusade against Hopp.

Fans at Hoffenheim vs. Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund vs. Freiburg unfurled banners and chanted insults towards Hopp, causing both referees to halt the games in an attempt to regain control.

Hopp has been a lightning rod, especially in recent weeks, for some German fans who oppose the way he used his wealth to help Hoffenheim climb through the lower leagues to the Bundesliga with consecutive promotions more than a decade ago.

Sources told ESPN prior to Saturday that Hoffenheim were bracing for protests against Hopp, and had informed other Bundesliga clubs.

Referee Christian Dingert stopped play at Hoffenheim in the 79th minute with Bayern leading 6-0.

"Things remain the same. DFB breaks its vow. Hopp remains a son of a b----," a banner displayed in Bayern's end read.

The referee ordered the teams into the tunnel, and some Bayern players as well as the entire club leadership walked to the stands and urged fans to take it down immediately.

After a 20-minute interruption both teams came back onto the pitch and ran down the clock without playing competitively, ending the game with an ovation for Hopp and with Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge by the billionaire's side in a show of solidarity.

"I am deeply ashamed for the behaviour of these people. That is inexcusable. It is the ugly face of football," Rummenigge told reporters.

"I have apologised to Dietmar Hopp. We have filmed everything and these people will be held accountable."

Rummenigge wasn't the only person to call out fans after the games with Hoffenheim executive Peter Gorlich saying German football must show Hopp solidarity.

"A compliment to the refs, the fans and the FC Bayern players. They all realized a line was crossed and solidarity comes first. It's about one person, but in the end it's about a human being. Football Germany must show solidarity," Gorlich said.

However, a German ultra described the situation to ESPN postmatch as "all-out war."

The game in Dortmund, meanwhile, was stopped to follow UEFA's three-step protocol originally designed to help match officials deal with racist incidents in stadiums.

After an announcement over the PA system the stadium reacted furiously with even louder whistles.

Last weekend, the game between Borussia Monchengladbach and Hoffenheim was delayed for a brief spell after protests against Hopp in the second half.

Banners showed Hopp in crosshairs and used strong language to condemn the German FA for banning all Dortmund supporters from travelling to Hoffenheim for two years after they displayed anti-Hopp posters.

The protests happened on the same day that games paid tribute to 11 people killed in a racially-motivated shooting in Hanau, and the German FA announced they had launched an investigation into the incident.

"We come out against racism and discrimination before a game -- and then 50 idiots put up a banner like that. It's madness," Gladbach executive Max Eberl said.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.