The German decision to resume football leagues makes Bundesliga the first top league in Europe to resume matches.
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.
The Bundesliga will resume on May 16.
Among the first matches to be played: The Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. (2/8)https://t.co/VYTHagnX3B
— DW Sports (@dw_sports) May 7, 2020
“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, DW reported.
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.
La Liga in Spain
The Spanish government authorized on May 2 the resumption of training sessions for, all Spanish football league (La Liga) clubs. Training has been postponed since mid-March due to the European country’s severe COVID-19 outbreak.
The decision followed the Spanish health ministry’s approval on the conditions of respecting a strict health protocol in order to guarantee the safety of players and personnel.
“In accordance with the Return to Training Protocol that LaLiga has drawn up with medical experts, professional players […] will start training alone following medical tests carried out by club staff,” La Liga declared.
La Liga players will be undergoing tests for COVID-19 throughout this week.
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.”
La Liga’s president is hopeful matches will resume in June so the league can finish the 2019-2020 season this summer.
“We hope that football will soon be back, La Liga and the [Royal Spanish Football] Federation will decide that,” said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez earlier this month.