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May restart on the cards for season in Germany


Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: dpa-pool

Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: dpa-pool

Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: dpa-pool

The Bundesliga has secured agreements with rights holder Sky and all but one broadcaster for payments for the rest of the 2019/20 season, that will help keep clubs afloat amid the Covid-19 pandemic, German Football League (DFL) CEO Christian Seifert said yesterday.

The Bundesliga has been suspended since mid-March and will be until at least April 30 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, which has infected more than 148,000 and killed over 5,000 people in Germany.

A restart is expected some time in May, but it is up to the government to give the green light, which could happen at a meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders in Berlin next week.

"If we should start on May 9, we are ready. If it is later we will be ready again," Seifert said, adding that the deal with broadcasters made sure clubs would have enough liquidity until June 30 once the season got under way.

Should the season be abandoned they would have to pay back some of the amount, he said.

"For us, what is decisive is what the politicians will decide. It is not for us to decide when," Seifert said on a potential restart date.

Seifert was speaking after a meeting with all first and second division clubs to finalise the health and safety measures needed so that games without spectators can be played again.

A maximum number of 213 officials will be allowed inside the stadium, in the stands and pitch-side during the games, while another 109, including security staff, will be posted outside the stadium.

No fans will be allowed to gather outside.

Players will be monitored by an appointed team health and safety official and will undergo regular testing. An infection to a player will be reported to authorities who will be in charge of any other steps. The team, however, will not be automatically quarantined.

Germany has the fifth highest Covid-19 caseload behind the United States, Spain, Italy and France, but has kept fatalities down thanks to early and extensive testing.