The German top-flight, as well as the Bundesliga 2, have been given the go-ahead to resume by the football association. This means that the German Football League (DFL) is happy to resume the Bundesliga under very strict safety measures. While this is great news for football fans in Germany, and beyond, it is not yet guaranteed.
The Government needs to sign-off on the proposal which would see the first major football league back in action. As it stands, it looks as though the approval will go ahead. Assuming that it does, what will the new restrictions bring? Read below for all the latest.
Bundesliga Set to Return on 9th of May
In a matter of only two weeks, we could see one of Europe’s top leagues return to action. German Bundesliga sides are preparing to return to competitive action for the first time since mid-March. Last week, all 18 topflight teams were allowed to train together with social distancing still in place with resuming the season in mind.
DFL CEO, Christian Seifert, has stressed that he is satisfied that the Bundesliga can start again, but that they must wait for the green light from the Government. While also praising the authorities for their efforts. He is quoted to have said:
“The Bundesliga is ready to resume, no matter whether on May 9 or a later date.
“But it's not up to us to find a date. The political decision-makers decide. We have not defined an exact date today.
“The fact that we are even able to think about resuming games underlines the performance of the German authorities.
The DLF have set out some very ambitious guidelines to help maintain social distancing. Seifert appears to be hopeful the Government will see these steps as enough.
Restrictions in Place for the Return of the Bundesliga
So, what are these new restrictions? Well, in the first instance testing must be made available to all clubs. 25,000 testing kits costing £90 each have since been bought with a view of testing all players and staff before matches. 1,100 players and staff have also been tested.
On match days the following rules will be in place:
- Pitch-side sinks
- Temperature checks for all entering the stadium via ear thermometers
No handshakes, team photos or mascots
- Only allowing 322 people in and around a stadium for Bundesliga games (270 for Bundesliga 2)
- Players must wash their own kit
- Face masks to be worn by certain people in the stadium
- Press conferences held by video conference
- Weekly testing of players
It will be impossible to maintain social distancing when playing. This is the one obstacle that football cannot get over. With this in mind, the Government may say that it is too early for the sport to return. In saying that, Germany is moving out of the lockdown faster than any other European country so it may be possible.
Effect on Clubs if Bundesliga is Not Restarted
Finishing the 2019/20 Bundesliga season remains the priority in German football. Seifert has warned that not doing so would mean “the Bundesliga would be a collateral damage to the coronavirus crisis”.
A study showed that 13 of the 36 sides making up Bundesliga 1. And 2. would face insolvency if it did not restart by June. Of course, both clubs and fans would prefer to have full stadiums to play matches in but at this stage, TV money and sponsorship deals are highly important.
Clubs operate in a slightly different way in Germany with clubs being mostly fan-owned. Many of these clubs will owe their TV money before they have received it which is the case here. Sky Sports, Eurosport, and local stations have not yet paid the cash due to no matches being played. The DFL has since reached an agreement with them, however, based on the remaining fixtures going ahead.
Will the Bundesliga be Shown in the UK?
There are discussions to broadcast the Bundesliga in the UK. For football fans like ourselves, this would be welcomed. German football has been missing from live broadcasts for some time. With top talent such as England’s own Jadon Sancho in action, there will certainly be an appetite for it. No official announcement has yet been made, but we’re holding our breath for some good news here.
Will the Premier League Follow Suit?
The most obvious question to ask regarding this is, will the English Premier League follow suit? An 8th June restart has provisionally booked in by the FA and if all goes well with the Bundesliga, then this date is more likely. Of course, we will need to wait and see what guidelines Governments suggest, but football looks set to return soon.
Bundesliga 9th May Return FAQs
✅ Q: Is the Bundesliga coming back on the 9th of May?
A: It is not yet guaranteed, but the DFL have stated they are ready and prepared to start. It is down to the German Government to give it the go-ahead.
🥇Q: Who is top of the Bundesliga?
A: Bayern Munich. They are currently top on 55 points, 4 ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund.
⚽ Q: How many goals has Jadon Sancho scored for Dortmund this season?
A: 14, and assisted 15.