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'We need to bring it closer to the fans again. We've distanced ourselves' - Didi Hamann on why football must rediscover its soul

As Bundesliga returns to action behind closed doors, former Liverpool and Germany great believes that it didn’t take a pandemic for soccer to cocoon itself from its fans

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Dietmar Hamann was back in the television studio last weekend alongside Markus Babbel and Lothar Mattheus as the Bundesliga returned. Photo: Sportsfile

Dietmar Hamann was back in the television studio last weekend alongside Markus Babbel and Lothar Mattheus as the Bundesliga returned. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Dietmar Hamann was back in the television studio last weekend alongside Markus Babbel and Lothar Mattheus as the Bundesliga returned. Photo: Sportsfile

The game has always been the same. It's only the people who keep changing.

In these times where nothing changes yet we know nothing will ever be the same again, such simple pleasures are craved, beyond those that promise mere existence. A round of golf. A garden centre visit. A game of ball.

They prompt hope that the rest of society may soon follow. For Germans, the Bundesliga's weekend return portends brighter days ahead, just as yesterday's tentative Premier League advance, and the hoped-for relaxation in the ban on entering GAA grounds in this troubled land.