Bundesliga returns to action today. It’s an experiment and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
The eyes of the world will be on the German Bundesliga this weekend as it becomes the first major European soccer league to return amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The country has 174 098 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 7 861 deaths, according to the latest figures, but Germany’s Football Association (DFB) has worked closely with league organisers (DFL) and hope strict safety protocols will protect those involved when matches are played.
If the measures work, it could provide a template for other sports to get back underway. If they don’t, then questions will be asked as to why football returned so soon.
Philipp Köster, chief editor of soccer publication 11 Freunde, puts it more bluntly — German football is on “parole.”
“This is an experiment with an unknown outcome,” Köster told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen.
“It could indeed happen that we see two or more weeks of football and then everything gets cancelled, if there are many infections or serious infections.” It’s an experiment which will involve no supporters, the component that provides the sport with its pageantry and emotion. As the saying goes: football without fans Is nothing.
Germany’s top-flight division regularly attracts an average of 43 300 people every game, but no more than 322 will be able to attend matches until the end of the season, with matches to be played behind closed doors.
The select few allowed to attend games will then be split into three distinct zones — the stadium exterior and interior as well the stands. Only 98 people (including players, coaches and referees) will be allowed around the pitch itself with a further 115 in the stands (including journalists, hygiene staff and emergency services and 109 more outside of that consisting mainly of security guards).
Source – CNN
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