The German football league, Bundesliga, will be the first major football league to resume play after the shutdown of almost all major sports due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL), Germany’s football governing body, has announced that Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga will resume play on 16 May 2020.
This news comes after Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that as the country is past the first phase of the coronavirus pandemic, some measures would be relaxed, this included allowing the football league to resume play.
Prior to the announcement, Bundesliga was one of several sports that were suspended in mid-March due to health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, organizers hoped Bundesliga could resume play in April, but this was pushed back due to government orders.
Bundesliga resumes play
Following a meeting held on 7 May, the DFL decided that the first round of Bundesliga matches after the sport shutdown will take place on the weekend of 16 May. All of the events held on this weekend will take place behind closed doors.
Subject to the German government implementing new measures and not imposing other measures, both Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga are set to conclude on 27 June.
As part of the conditions for the resumption of play, staff, players and officials must undergo frequent testing to ensure they do not have the coronavirus. During the most recent round of testing, 1,695 samples were taken and two tested positive.
When will other leagues resume play?
Although Bundesliga will resume play later this month, it is not yet clear when other sports leagues will resume play. This is because each country has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in different ways.
Compared to other European countries, Germany has had a relatively lower number of coronavirus cases. At the time of writing, Germany has reported more than 172,000 confirmed cases and 7,569 deaths.
Elsewhere, the UK has reported more than 219,000 cases and approximately 31,855 deaths, Spain has 224,000 confirmed cases and 26,621 deaths and Italy has more than 219,000 confirmed cases and about 30,560 deaths.