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The Bundesliga's relaunch will determine if half a loaf really is better than no bread

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Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during training last week. Photo: Getty Images

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during training last week. Photo: Getty Images

Getty Images

Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during training last week. Photo: Getty Images

After the final hurdles were cleared in their exhaustive strategy to relaunch the Bundesliga season, German football authorities were planning to hold the first match on May 15 - next Friday.

Last Wednesday Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the green light after a final round of discussions with the governors of the country's 16 federal states. The top-flight could resume games in the second half of this month. On Thursday Christian Seifert, CEO of the German Football League (DFL), announced that the next round of fixtures would begin on Saturday the 16th, because "Friday the 15th is not in the second half of the month". May, after all, has 31 days.

In this time of crisis, Germany's famous reputation for high-functioning efficiency has been a source of comfort. Their fastidious commitment to orderly management can have its comedic side when they are seen to be taking things perhaps a bit too literally - the 16th is the second half of the month, the 15th is not. But when the coronavirus pandemic came sweeping through, their monumental state apparatus was mobilised with a level of co-ordination and a thoroughness of implementation which ultimately saved thousands of lives.