German Bundesliga To Resume Saturday 16 May

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The Bundesliga will resume behind closed doors on Saturday 16 May – and is the first European league to restart following the novel coronavirus pandemic global shutdown.

One of the games on the day of relaunch will be the derby between Schalke and Borussia Dortmund.

Champions Bayern Munich, who are four points clear at the top of the table, travel to Union Berlin on Sunday.

Most teams have nine games to play, with the final weekend of the season rescheduled for 27-28 June.

The German Football Association (DFL) said the season would resume under strict health protocols that bans fans from the stadium and requires players to have Covid-19 testing.

Around 300 people, including players, staff and officials, will be in or around the stadiums during matchdays.

The league has been suspended since 13 March; clubs returned to training in mid-April with players working out in groups.

Christian Seifert, chief executive of the German Football League (DFL), held a news conference on Thursday where he said despite the empty stands and other restrictions, “it was crucial to resume play”.

Other updates to emerge included:

  • As well as players and coaching staff, referees will also be subject to medical and hygiene regulations.
  • There was no clarification on the issue of matches being available free to air – talks are under way with broadcasters.
  • There were 10 positive results from clubs in the top two divisions following the first series of coronavirus tests – and two in the second series.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel eased some restrictions, allowing shops to reopen with the country seeing fewer than 7,000 deaths from coronavirus.

Seifert said: “The interest [globally] is big. I see reports from across the world that we are the first major league to return. This can only happen because we have the privilege to live in one of the most modern health systems in the world.

“The matches will feel different. After the first matchday, we will all know why we prefer games with fans. But that is the framework we have to operate in and I expect the best possible sport within this framework.”

Meanwhile, the executive committee of the World Players Association – which represents 85,000 players and athletes across world sport – will meet next week to discuss medical protocols around the return to sport.

It said in a statement: “All proposals need to be calmly and rigorously assessed by relevant experts with a clear commitment that player health and safety is not negotiable.”

 

Full list of fixtures

Saturday

Augsburg v Wolfsburg

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke

Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach

Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn

Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin

RB Leipzig v Freiburg

Sunday

Cologne v Mainz

Union Berlin v Bayern Munich

Monday

Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen

 

 

BBC

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