ONCE THE JEWEL OF EAST GERMAN SOCCER, DYNAMO DRESDEN LOSES ITS LICENSE
| FRANKFURT, GERMANY
Dynamo Dresden, once the pride of East German soccer, had its license revoked May 22 after accumulating 10 million marks ($6.9 million) in debt.
Dresden police put units on alert to prevent violence by fans, 100 of whom beat up the club's vice president and laid siege to the hotel room of club president Ralf-Juergen Otto two weeks ago when the word of the suspension came down.
''For a lot of people here, the world is breaking apart,'' said Ralf Minge, Dresden's coach.
Dresden dominated East German soccer for years, grooming talents like midfielder Matthias Sammer, who played on Germany's World Cup team last year.
Once former East German leader Erich Honecker's favorite team, poor management and raids by richer West German clubs after unification stripped Dynamo Dresden of many of its top players.
The only eastern German club in the Bundesliga, it sank to last place this season.
The team is tottering on the verge of bankruptcy and will have to start over in a regional league. But Otto said he intended to fight the verdict of the German Soccer Organization.
''They're not going to push us out through the back door,'' Otto said. ''We're going to take the gloves off.''
The club's troubles with the soccer organization began two years ago, when it was penalized four points in the Bundesliga for license irregularities.
Dresden was one of four suspensions announced by the German Soccer Organization. The other clubs were second-division teams, also with strong traditions: Saarbruecken, Hertha BSC Berlin, and FC Nuremberg.
A German Soccer Organization panel could overturn the decisions, but only if an error in procedure is shown.