Germany's Bundesliga Soccer League to Resume This Month, Government Approves

Germany's Bundesliga Soccer League to Resume This Month, Government Approves

The German Football League (DFL) will have final say on the exact date for the league's resumption.

Germany is planning an nearly complete return to normality in the coming days, with schools and shops reopening and the return of top-flight Bundesliga football matches, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday after a meeting with the heads of the country's 16 states.

The Bundesliga would become the first major European league to return to action.

A 51-page document titled the Hygienekonzept laid out a detailed plan of who will be at the matches, a maximum of 322 people for Bundesliga games.

Seifert said the season will restart with the 26th round of games, including the Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke on the opening Saturday.

The Bundesliga will resume on May 16.

If the DFL continues with the previous schedule, the next top-flight match will see Fortuna Dusseldorf play Paderborn.

Among the preventive measures that the DFL is taking to ensure the success of the return to football is the weekly testing of players for COVID-19.

Three of those individuals were connected to second-tier side Cologne - with two of their players and a physiotherapist reported to have tested positive. Some had expressed concerns about such a fiery local-rival clash being so early in the restart given social-distancing concerns.

"Today's decision is good news for the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga", Christian Seifert, the managing director of the Bundesliga, said in a statement. Karl Lauterbach, a health expert in the Social Democrat Party, said it was "disappointing and wrong, " driven by business interests.

More than a dozen of the 36 teams in the two divisions are on the brink of bankruptcy, according to media reports, and the league desperately needs to recoup 300 million euros ($325 million) it would be due from TV contracts if the clubs are allowed to complete the season.

Players and staff will have to go into isolation for a week before play can start.

Speaking about the return, LaLiga President Javier Tebas said it will "bring back an element of life that people in Spain and around the world know and love".

The Bundesliga has been cleared to resume without fans on this month after German Chancellor Angela Merkel gives government approval to ease restrictions.

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