Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers had given it the green light.
MIAMI, Fla. (6 May 2020) – Fans starved of watching top flight football will get a much-needed injection of excitement this month, as the German first and second divisions are set to resume their seasons.
The Bundesliga is to restart its season on Froday, May 15. The DFL, which operates the league, confirmed the decision to media outlets just hours after Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers had given it the green light. The two leagues have been on pause since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but will become the first two in Europe to return to action.
A matter of hours after Chancellor Angela Merkel and the premiers of Germany’s 16 states had announced that they had given the green light for the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 to restart in mid-May at the earliest, news emerged of just when the first games are to be played.
An exact date for the resumption of games — which will have to be played behind closed doors — was not given, but May 15 appears to be the date.
According to the reports the 36 clubs have already been informed in a letter from DFL CEO Christian Seifert, which leading football publication kicker obtained and cited in its report.
“After weighing up all the arguments, the DFL Executive Committee decided today by circular letter to resume play in the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga from 15 May 2020,” it said. “It’s a great responsibility for the clubs to implement the medical and organizational guidelines in a disciplined manner,” Seifert added, referring to the DFL’s plans to restart play behind closed doors and in accordance with strict hygiene protocols and – to whatever extent is possible – physical distancing.
Special measures to protect health of players, staff
Under the DFL’s plan to protect the health of all involved, the games are only to go ahead after players have undergone a sufficient quarantine period in the form of training camps. Originally that period had been 14 days, but one week may also be possible with regular testing and negative test results.
This news comes as the rate of new COVID-19 cases in Germany dropped below 1,000 per day for the first time since mid-March.
Both the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga have nine matchdays left. The leagues plan to complete their seasons by June 30, thereby avoiding the complicated matter of player contracts expiring at the end of June. Bayern Munich leads the Bundesliga 1. table by four points currently.
The lone Canadian player in the Bundesliga this season is Bayern’s left back Alphonso Davies. Ten Americans are on Bundesliga rosters this season, led by Schalke 04 central midfielder Weston McKennie, who has made 20 appearances and scored one goal this season. A pair of Fortuna Düsseldorf players, midfielder Alfredo Morales and goalkeeper Zach Steffen, have made 19 and 17 appearances, respectively, while centre-forward Josh Sargent has played in 18 matches for relegation battlers Werder Bremen.