Bundesliga could restart on May 9, 2020
Starved of football for over a month, it’s no surprise to see that many outlets are getting excited about the possible restart of the Bundesliga.
Germany are being widely applauded for having managed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic better than most of their European counterparts.
While Germany has recorded 147,065 confirmed coronavirus cases, they have only suffered 4,862 deaths. That’s according to Johns Hopkins University.
For several weeks, optimism has been rising that the 2019-20 season could soon restart.
Indeed, Bundesliga clubs have been training for more than a week already ahead of the possible resumption of the league.
At the same time, Bild have previously reported on German FA plans to restart football, which includes allowing only 239 people into the stadium for any specific game.
That figure breaks down as follows:
– 122 on and around the field, including players, coaches, doctors, TV broadcasters
– 4 ballboys per game
– 113 people would be allowed in the stands including security and up to 30 journalists
German politician Markus Soder gives more updates on May 9
Today, Bild have published fresh quotes from German politician Markus Soder on the possibility of the Bundesliga restarting on May 9. He said:
The prerequisite is that there is a well thought-out concept.
What the DFL have presented shows that protective measures are in place.
I could imagine that we can go back to the state of games behind closed doors.
It is a tightrope walk. We now have to be careful not to overdo it or be frivolous.
Games with audience participation are completely unthinkable. Games behind closed doors are also a tightrope walk.
It is conceivable that we might be able to play a ghost round at the earliest from May 9th.
It is clear: a weekend with football is much more bearable than a weekend without football.
— Jan Aage Fjortoft 🏳️🌈 🇳🇴 (@JanAageFjortoft) April 20, 2020
But here are the reasons to be doubtful…
On Monday, The Athletic released their latest edition of the Steilcast podcast.
Hosted by Raphael Honigstein, the final part of the show was a discussion with Jonathan Harding on the likelihood that the Bundesliga actually returns to action in two weeks.
Jonathan Harding cast doubt on plans to restart football so quickly. He noted:
One of the biggest problems is how to deal with where to go forward now.
Some teams have returned to training, but that’s been made more complicated by the fact that German is a federal country.
So Berlin may set the tone and laid out recommendations for what needs to be done, but ultimately local states and authorities will make the final call.
So that means that some teams returned to training sooner than others, which of course in a competitive sport will ruffle some feathers.
(On the subject of testing) there are enormous question marks. If football is going to return with 240 people in the stadium, that’s still an awful lot of people who need to be tested and tested regularly.
The optics are problematic. If a footballer is going to be tested three times a week, that’s not going to look great even if Germany can test so many people.
More notes on when the Bundesliga could restart
Important to understand that Söder and Laschet only speak for their two states. A date for the return of the Bundesliga will only be fixed on April 30th, when the federal government meet with the federal states. Too early to say that the league will come back on May 9th.
— Raphael Honigstein (@honigstein) April 20, 2020
Ahead of a #DFL meeting on Thursday, two prominent politicians in #Germany have told the tabloid Bild that it’d be possible to resume the #Bundesliga season from May 9 with matches behind closed doors. Their announcement seemed even to catch #DFL boss Seifert by surprise!
— Jonathan Crane (@jonathancrane5) April 20, 2020
Some details on this, the Minister Presidents of Bavaria (Söder), North-Rhine Westphalia (Laschet) and the Federal Minister of Health (Spahn) have voiced their support for a return of #Bundesliga football as early as May 9. Other politicians have also voiced their support. https://t.co/fh8rByJ8pH
— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) April 20, 2020
Hence this is all very encouraging, but the final word on this isn’t spoken quite yet. The league will meet on Thursday to discuss further steps.
— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) April 20, 2020
Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn: “The decisive factor is that the risk of infection is minimised. That would be a piece of normality for millions of football fans from May 9th, even if in an empty stadium.” (Bild/@Ballzirkulation) https://t.co/AO55dKvUX7
— Get German Football News (@GGFN_) April 20, 2020
This article was edited by Ben Green.
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