The German league could be the first to return to action since football came to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic
Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert has said that the league will be ready to return to competitive action as early as May 9, although government approval will be required before an official decision is made.
Representatives of each of the 36 clubs in the top two German tiers decided on the date after a meeting on Thursday, with it very much the intention of said teams to finish off the season.
Doing so will undoubtedly see matches played behind closed doors and involve rigorous testing of players and staff for coronavirus, as well as frequent deep cleaning of stadiums.
Seifert told the press: “The Bundesliga is ready to resume, no matter whether it’s 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.
“It would be presumptuous for the DFL to name an exact date for the restart.”
Questions have been asked as to whether resuming football would put an unnecessary strain on medical authorities in terms of personal protection and testing equipment, to which Seifert replied: “Professional football would not even consume 0.4 percent of the available testing capacity in the country.”
Indeed, the Bundesliga are said to be involved in talks with at least five different laboratories to ensure sufficient safety guidelines are put in place and the required testing is carried out.
The women’s Bundesliga and 3.Bundesliga will not go ahead as early as the men’s two top tiers, but a €7.5 million solidarity fund raised by Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig has been made available to ensure the long-term future of those leagues.
But while fans could be forgiven for getting excited about a potential return to action in early May, German chancellor Angela Merkel also spoke on Thursday and stated that the nation is merely “at the beginning” of the crisis, not the end point, and should continue to treat the situation with the appropriate respect and intelligence.