Bundesliga news: German league could return on May 9, but there's still one major hurdle in the way
Bundesliga officials need the blessing of the government to resume play in May
Christian Seifert, the CEO of the German Football League (Deutsche Fußball Liga), said that Bundesliga play could return as early as May 9 of it receives the green light from the country's decision makers. The announcement was made during a meeting held by league and club executives on Thursday.
Seifert said he didn't know whether government officials could possibly give the green light on Thursday, but on Wednesday Germany's health minister said that playing by May 9 was definitely possible, according to DW. It remains to be seen how quickly the league hears back from the government, but it is worth noting that a government conference is scheduled for April 30.
"The game is suspended until April 30th," Seifert said. "We have several game plan options. However, it is not realistic to start on the first weekend in May.
"But we will be ready on May 9th -- or when the signal comes ..."
During the DFL meeting, plans were outlined for how to handle the coronavirus and provide a safe environment for players to play. That includes constant COVID-19 testing, social distancing measures, limiting the people involved and more. The first and second division have been suspended since March 13. Every top soccer league in Europe has been suspended indefinitely due to the pandemic, and there's a real possibility that the Bundesliga could be the first major league to return from hiatus. Germany has constantly been viewed as one of the countries that has best handled the COVID-19 outbreak compared to the rest of the world. The country has seen a decline in confirmed cases since April 18.
There would be a limit of 330 people per stadium who would be regularly tested and would have to follow specific social distancing guidelines when possible.
Dr. Tim Meyer, who heads the DFL's task force, looking into how games could safely return, said there are three pillars when it comes to safety: Monitoring the infection of the professionals who test positive, ensuring the safety and cleanliness of the venues, and also regular testing. Meyer said they would need about 14,400 tests over a 10-week period to complete the season, with any leftover tests going to the community.
The Bundesliga clubs have played 25 of the 34 matches scheduled this season. Only six points separate the top four teams (Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach) in the Bundesliga standings.
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