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Germany's minister backs Bundesliga restart

May 03, 2020 21:20 IST
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Germany's interior minister backs Bundesliga restart

Bundesliga

IMAGE: Bayern Munich coach Hans-Dieter Flick and Robert Lewandowski during training despite most sport being cancelled around the world as the spread of coronavirus continues. Photograph: Andreas Gebert/Reuters

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Sunday backed a possible restart for the Bundesliga season this month without spectators as the government prepares for a key meeting next week.

Although Bundesliga clubs have returned to training in small groups, the league has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic and the government is to decide next week on a potential resumption of sports activities.

 

The German Football League (DFL), eager for a quick restart, has submitted a health safety plan for games without spectators which includes regular testing of players but no quarantine for entire squads in cases of positive tests.

"I find the time frame of the German Football League plausible and I support a restart in May," Seehofer told Bild newspaper. "But for me it is also clear that there should be no extra privileges for the league."

He also said he was in favour of full team quarantine in cases of positive test, something that is not planned in the DFL blueprint.

"But I am in favour of trying to attempt to play again," he said.

The cash-strapped clubs and league are desperate to resume play as soon as possible, even without spectators, so the season can contractually finish by June 30.

Germany has suffered over 6,600 deaths from coronavirus with more than 162,00 people infected.

Serie A teams can start individual training

Serie A teams will be able to start individual training sessions as of Monday amid the COVID-19 crisis, according to a letter sent by the Italian interior ministry to local authorities.

Prime minister Giuseppe Conte said last Sunday that individual training could start on May 4 and team training on May 18, only for sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora to say that athletes in individual sports could start training from May 4 and those in team sports must wait until May 18.

Spadafora's statement drew criticism and Serie A club Sassuolo on Saturday said they would allow their players to use their facilities from Monday.

Bologna, also based in the Emilia Romagna region where special permission was given for athletes in team sports to take part in training sessions on an individual basis from May 4, said players could resume training on Tuesday.

The region of Campania, which includes Naples, has also said that players can begin training. Napoli have yet to comment.

"Athletes and non athletes, of non individual disciplines, just like any citizen, are allowed to practise individual sporting activities, in private and public areas, in respect of the interpersonal safety distance of at least two metres and in respect of the ban to gather in any form," the interior ministry said in a letter to local authorities.

Serie A has been suspended since March 9 and the league and the Italian football federation (FIGC) both want to complete the season, although the Italian government says it has not yet decided whether it will give its permission to do so.

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