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Green light given to Bundesliga’s return

THE German Bundesliga looks set to be the first of Europe’s ‘Big Five’ leagues to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic after the federal government gave the go-ahead yesterday.

Clubs in the top two tiers of German football have been back in training since last month with a view to restarting the 2019-20 season.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has now told regional authorities competition could restart in the second half of May and 36 clubs will liaise today on a resumption date, which could be as early as May 16, but is more likely to be a week later.

The league’s managing director Christian Seifert said: ‘Today’s decision is good news for the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga.

‘It is associated with a great responsibility for the clubs and their employees to implement the medical and organisational requirements in a disciplined manner.

‘Games behind closed doors are not an ideal solution for anyone. In a crisis threatening the very existence of some clubs, however, it is the only way to keep the leagues in their current form.’

Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: ‘We are now looking forward to resuming play, ideally from mid-May. This ensures the sporting decisions are made on the pitch and not in the boardroom.

‘I would like to expressly thank the DFL and the medicine task force for the excellent organisational and medical plans. I appeal to everyone involved to follow the guidelines in these plans, which are the basis for resuming play, in an exemplary and disciplined manner.’

German clubs are conducting regular coronavirus tests on all staff connected with the 36 clubs in the top two tiers.

Earlier this week, the German Football League (DFL) said out of 1,724 tests conducted, ten individuals had tested positive for Covid-19.