Bundesliga working with German government to bring back fans into stadiums, says league's CEO Christian Seifert

Bundesliga is working with the government on a plan to get fans back into stadiums during the coronavirus pandemic, their CEO says.

The Associated Press July 06, 2020 09:36:02 IST
Bundesliga working with German government to bring back fans into stadiums, says league's CEO Christian Seifert

Dusseldorf: The German men's football league is working with the government on a plan to get fans back into stadiums during the coronavirus pandemic, their CEO says.

Christian Seifert, CEO of the German Football League which runs the top two divisions, told German weekly Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung that ideas were being discussed with the government.

“Mass events are de facto ruled out until 31 October unless they have a hygiene concept and it's possible to track the attendees afterwards,” Seifert said in an interview published Sunday.

“We are working on guidelines of that sort and we have some first thoughts which we are exchanging with the Federal Ministry of Health."

Germany was the first major European football league to resume in empty stadiums amid the pandemic on 16 May. Only one more game remains in the season — a promotion-relegation playoff second leg on Monday between Werder Bremen and Heidenheim.

Seifert said any plans to play with fans present in the 2020-21 season would have to take into account the venues' layout and the spread of the coronavirus in the local area. He also praised fans for showing “a lot of discipline” in not gathering outside stadiums hosting games.

German media have reported that top-division clubs have been studying the idea of holding games with a reduced number of fans, typically with socially distanced seating.

Local health officials in Leipzig said Thursday they had approved a plan for up to 21,000 spectators — or 50 percent of capacity — at the Red Bull Arena with masks required and gaps between supporters, the dpa news agency reported.

Local officials have wide-ranging powers in Germany during the pandemic, but it's not clear whether the league would allow some teams to resume with fans if others were still in empty stadiums.

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