German minister backs Bundesliga restart

Monday, May 4th, 2020 00:00 |
German minister backs Bundesliga restart.

Berlin, Sunday

Germany’s minister for the interior and sport said Sunday he supports a resumption of the country’s football season this month despite three people testing positive for coronavirus at Bundesliga club Cologne.

“I find the schedule proposed by the German league plausible and I support the restart in May,” Horst Seehofer told Bild newspaper, three days before a meeting of German authorities to discuss the issue.

The German Football League (DFL) backs matches resuming without spectators around mid-May, which would make it the first major European championship to make such a move.

The sports ministers of the 16 German states have also approved the DFL’s plans.

Seehofer, who plays a key government role on the issue as he holds several portfolios, has emphasised that the teams and players must respect several conditions.

“If there is a case of coronavirus in a team or its management, the club as a whole, and possibly also the team against which it last played, must go into quarantine for two weeks,” he said.

“There will continue therefore to be risks for the schedule of matches and for the standings,” if there is any contamination.

But he said clubs would not have any special testing privileges denied to the rest of the population. Some sides had suggested carrying out frequent tests of their players as a preventative measure against the virus.

Germany had reported 162,496 cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday, but its death toll of 6,649 remains considerably lower than that of comparable European countries, which are home to the continent’s other top football leagues. -AFP

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