OYOGist.com has learned that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reportedly decided yesterday with the heads of the German federal states to allow the football leagues Bundesliga and Bundesliga to resume matches starting from May 16. The move is set to make Bundesliga the first top league in Europe to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown with an official match.
Chairman of the German Football League (DFL) Christian Seifert said on May 6 that the “great news […] is associated with a great responsibility for the clubs and their employees to implement the medical and organizational requirements in a disciplined manner.”
Matches are initially set to take place without spectators in the stadiums. “We’ll all know after the first day of play why we like games with spectators much better,” said Seifert. The first match, a derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, is scheduled for May 16.
“Some had expressed concerns about such a fiery local rival clash being so early in the restart given social distancing concerns,” according to DW sports network, but the DFL is following a strict hygiene program.
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. Only players with two consecutive negative tests will be allowed to play. Players will adhere to social distancing in the changing rooms, as well.
Seifert said the DFL measures are the best plan possible, as “we won’t be able to keep 1.5 meters apart on the pitch.” However, a prominent health expert with Chancellor Merkel’s coalition, Karl Lauterbach, slammed the decision as “disappointing and wrong,” claiming it is driven by commercial motives.