German football league, Bundesliga could be the first major league to resume post COVID-19 pandemic, with a German minister revealing that talks have begun over starting up once again as early as May 9th.
Germany seems to have put the peak back and flattened the curve of Coronavirus, and small businesses have been reopened in a softening of the current rules, whilst social distancing still continues.
Now there could be a return to football in the country within a couple of weeks, although behind closed doors. In a statement German Minister Markus Soder confirmed they have been in talks with the German FA over the return to football.
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 [behind closed doors] at the earliest from May 9th. It is clear: a weekend with football is much more bearable than a weekend without football.Statement German Minister Markus Soder
Process to implement before Bundesliga Return
The concept paper, which is in the “Spiegel”, states that the stadium area should be divided into three zones, which can cater a maximum of 100 people. The first zone will have the experts, including the 22 players on the pitch, the 18 substitutes and five referees (during match), expect 98 participants in the interior. The rest of two zones are the grandstand area and the outside stadium area.
The German Football League (DFL) announced a task force under the leadership of DFB chief medical officer Tim Meyer. The task force will present “a detailed, binding concept with strict hygiene requirements, necessary tests and permanent monitoring” at the general meeting on Thursday.
The paper contains detailed recommendations regarding the hygiene measures required in the COVID-19 pandemic – this affects both the teams and, for example, the teams of the TV stations. A thematic component also deals with the procedure for a “positive person”. This should be isolated immediately, the documented contact persons should be subjected to a test. As a further procedure in this case, “calming down and informing the team about the situation (do not panic, strategic alignment of the team, control of the hygiene measures, etc.)” are mentioned.
The clubs were also advised to not to automatically report positive cases to the press “because disease verification and the clear documentation of the presumed transmission routes are in the foreground”.
The German top tier stopped on March 13th but clubs were allowed to return to training earlier this month, though only in groups of five and with social distancing still at the forefront.