A German football club has banned fans who displayed a homophobic banner from the stands during a league match.

Borussia Dortmund barred the fans from returning to the ground for three years after they displayed an anti-gay message during the Bundesliga game, part of Germany’s premier league.

The club said: “After discussions with the Ultra group, which was responsible for the offensive and homophobic banner that was displayed on the South Tribune of Signal Iduna Park at the game against Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund have given the people who were responsible for the action the maximum penalty of a three-year stadium ban.”

According to AP, the club consulted the group, which apologised for the sign, to identify the fans who displayed the anti-gay banner.

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said: “In these discussions we made it very clear that Borussia Dortmund is for tolerance, openness and respectful behavior toward everyone. We condemn violence and racism.”

Dortmund won the match against Werder Bremen on March 17 1-0.