Bundesliga 2 player defies rules to celebrate goal with life-saving driver

Erzgebirge Aue striker Dimitrij Nazarov defied social distancing measures on the pitch during Friday's 1-1 draw at Nurnberg to celebrate his goal with the man who saved his life.

Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 recommend social distancing during celebrations, which means elbow bumps rather than hugs but Nazarov made an exception.

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During the second division clash against Nurnberg, Nazarov scored and went to embrace team official Thomas Romeyke.

Nazarov said on Saturday that Romeyke's quick reactions saved the Aue team on the journey to the game. Romeyke was driving the team bus the day before the game when it was struck by flying debris from a car crash.

"He saved our lives, simple as that," Nazarov told the MDR regional broadcaster. "If he hadn't reacted as quickly as he did, who knows what would have happened."

The Azerbaijan international said he hoped the German Football League (DFL), would "turn a blind eye to [the hug]" given the circumstances.

The DFL reminded players in the top two divisions to keep their distance after German political figures criticised some players' hugs and backslaps during the restart last week.

Aue coach Dirk Schuster told MDR the team was driving along when "suddenly a car comes flying a metre in front of the windshield." The bus was damaged and Schuster said he was left covered in glass.

News agency dpa reported that no one on board the team bus was hurt, although two people in the car were hospitalised with serious injuries. The team eventually finished the journey in smaller vehicles.

Schuster said Aue did not consider calling off the game though it was a challenge for the squad to stay focused.

The result leaves Aue sixth in the league table while Nurnberg lie in 15th position.