Bundesliga is set to return on May 16 after the German Football League (DFL) confirmed the news of resumption on Thursday, becoming the first European league to resume amid the coronavirus epidemic.
After receiving the green signal from German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, the footballing authorities fixed the date for the leagues restart next Saturday. Borussia Dortmund will host Schalke 04 at their home stadium, Signal Iduna Park under the terms of a strict health protocol that bans fans from the stadium.
“While it was no normal restart given the empty stands and other restrictions, it was crucial to resume play”, DFL CEO Christian Seifert told a news conference. “The matches will feel different. After the first matchday we will all know why we prefer games with fans.”
All teams will have to have go into a seven-day training camp in complete isolation prior to May 16 and with all players being tested before their inclusion in the camps, to reduce the risk of any infection. About 300 people, including players, staff, and officials, will be in and around the stadiums during matchdays.
“The Bundesliga season finale will take place at the end of June,” DFL CEO Christian Seifert said, with June 27-28 as the likely date.
Bayern Munich, chasing an eighth successive title and taking on Union Berlin on Sunday, May 17, currently lead the table with 55 points from 25 games, four ahead of Borussia Dortmund with RB Leipzig third on 50. There are nine rounds of matches left to play.
The 2019/20 Bundesliga table so far.
Nine days to go until it officially resumes. pic.twitter.com/vQFSLLgW5b
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Germany has seen the halt of football since mid-March owing to its 150,000 infections and 6,300 deaths in the country so far.