The German football league, Bundesliga, will be the first major football league to resume play.
The German government has announced plans for the country’s Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga football leagues to resume play later in May 2020.
With this announcement, the German football league will be the first major football league to resume play, following the shutdown of almost all major sports due to the coronavirus pandemic. All Bundesliga matches were initially suspended in March through to 2 April; however, this was extended to the end of the month.
The announcement was made yesterday (6 May), by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the country has passed the first phase of the pandemic and will begin to relax more measures that have been in place for several weeks.
Prior to the announcement, certain restrictions in Germany had already been lifted, but the latest announcement means that large shops will be allowed to reopen, two households will be able to meet in public and all schools can resume teaching. However, social distancing measures will remain in place.
Germany’s government has yet to provide updates on gambling and betting facilities.
Bundesliga resumes play
The Bundesliga football league will resume play behind closed doors and all players, team staff and officials will be subject to strict measures to protect against the virus. Bundesliga players recently returned to training ahead of the league’s restart.
The Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL), the sports governing body in Germany, is set to hold a meeting where it will discuss details as to when the league will resume play. The government has also requested that the DFL and Bundesliga look at other measures to ensure the safety of staff and players such as potentially having training camps before all games and ongoing testing for players.
Earlier this week, the German league announced that as of 4 May, it had carried out 1,724 tests for coronavirus on the 36 clubs across the league since 30 April. During this period, 10 cases were identified.
When will other leagues resume play?
It is not yet clear when other sports leagues will resume play. This is due to the fact that every country has been impacted differently by the coronavirus pandemic.
When compared to other European countries, Germany has had a relatively lower number of cases than other large European countries. At the time of writing, Germany has recorded more than 168,000 cases and 7,275 deaths.
Elsewhere, the UK has reported more than 201,000 cases and 30,076 deaths, Spain has reported more than 221,000 cases and 26,070 deaths, while Italy has identified 214,000 cases and reported 29,684 deaths.
The English Premier League is set to meet on 11 May where it will discuss and vote on plans for the 2019-20 season.