German clubs eye mid-May restart

      Published on Saturday, 25 April , 2020      1519      
German clubs eye mid-May restart

  • Sport

German football clubs are hoping a return to action is on the horizon, even if it means playing in closed stadiums, after the country’s health minister and regional leaders said matches could potentially resume from May 9.

The Bundesliga has been suspended since mid-March due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Regional leaders in Bavaria and North Rhine Westphalia said on Monday that any league resumption would be without fans and that there would be no action before May 9.

Their statements were welcomed by both clubs and the German Football League (DFL) which will meet tomorrow to decide how long to extend the ban past the current April 30 date.

“These comments are good news for professional football. The DFL and the clubs are aware of their responsibility,” the league said yesterday.

“No one likes games without fans. For some clubs this is the only way at the moment to secure their financial existence as employers.”

For Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge it will be equally important to stick to the medical guidelines to minimise any health risk that could potentially lead to another suspension as well.

“It is important that we carefully adhere to any legal and medical guidelines in order to minimise any health risk,” he said.

Borussia Dortmund also welcomed the news, saying politicians had been convinced by the league’s plans and that it was now up to clubs to stick to it.

“This is a show of faith from politics if it means we can play again from May 9 onwards,” Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said.

“If the league did not have such a well thought-out plan then politicians would have taken a different decision. We now have an obligation to deliver.”

German Health Minister Jens Spahn told Bild newspaper on Sunday that a resumption on May 9 would depend on the infection risk.

“What is crucial is that the infection risk is minimised,” Spahn said. “That would be for millions of football fans from May 9 onwards a bit of normalcy even with empty stands.”

Bayern are top of the Bundesliga, four points clear of Dortmund, with nine games left in the campaign.

Category Sport | 2020/04/25 latest update at 10:11 AM
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