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Cologne bans man for two years after verbal abuse of Ron-Robert Zieler

Lucas Podolski expressed his frustration with fans who insulted Stuttgart's Ron-Robert Zieler.

Cologne has imposed a two-year stadium ban on a supporter who they determined verbally abused Stuttgart goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler during a Bundesliga game.

Zieler, born in Cologne, was insulted during Stuttgart's 3-2 win at the Mungersdorfer Stadion on March 4 by fans who also disparaged former Hannover goalkeeper Robert Enke, who died in 2009.

After an investigation, Cologne have identified two people alleged to have participated in the chants and banned one from the stadium for two years.

"Neither the fans nor the ultras are responsible for the chants," the club said.

Cologne legend Lukas Podolski, who joined Vissel Kobe last year, hit out at the supporters for their abuse following a J-League game last week.

"As pros we must live with insults, but what happened in Cologne, also referring to Enke, it's inacceptable," Podolski told reporters following a J-League game. "We can't tolerate this."

German FA (DFB) president Reinhard Grindel was also angered by the chants and called for a clampdown on behaviour in the wake of the events.

The DFB already said on Monday it had opened an investigation which could lead to a fine for the club itself.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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