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Bundesliga given green light to start this month

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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 in May. Photo: REUTERS

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 in May. Photo: REUTERS

REUTERS

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 in May. Photo: REUTERS

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 in May.

German chancellor Angela Merkel told regional authorities yesterday that competition could restart in the second half of May. The 36 clubs will hold a conference call today to finalise a resumption date.

Christian Seifert, the managing director of the German Football League (DFL) said: "Today's decision is good news for the Bundesliga and the second 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.

"On this day, I would like to thank the political decision-makers from the federal and state governments for their trust."

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said: "We're very pleased that the people in Germany - and, from a regional point of view, the people in Dortmund and the surrounding area - have conducted themselves so magnificently in recent weeks that the spread of the pandemic could at least be contained.

"It is only thanks to the incredible discipline on the part of the population that we can now, gradually and in small steps, move on to another form of normality.

"In this context, we at Borussia Dortmund are aware we have a great responsibility. We will - in the knowledge there can be no guarantees - do everything in our power to ensure the highest possible degree of safety in order to prevent any new infections among the players and their families."