The Bundesliga is ready to return to action on May 9 without spectators, if the German government gives it the green light. Resumption remains dependent on government and federal states’ approval.
The Bundesliga has been suspended since mid-March due to the outbreak of coronavirus, which has infected more than 148,000 and killed over 5,000 people in Germany.
Following a meeting with Germany’s top clubs, chief executive Christian Seifert said the league was “ready” to return next month, which would make it the first major European football competition to do so.
“If we should start on May 9, we are ready. If it is later we will be ready again,” Seifert said.
The Bundesliga is collaborating with five different laboratories to ensure adequate testing for coronavirus. Players will be tested at least once a week, which would require around 20,000 tests for this season.
The league has warned that many clubs in the first and second divisions faced an uncertain financial future and several would be in an “existence-threatening” situation if the play did not resume by June.
Bundesliga: Need federal states’ approval
German politics has recently decided that large events with crowds will be banned at least until 24 October. That rules out the Bundesliga being played in front of spectators until the scheduled start of next season.
The only way to work around regulations is to stage spectator-free games, with only players, coaching staff, medics, referees, ball boys and ball girls, ground staff, technicians, safety officers, and production staff for television and VAR being present inside the stadiums. League officials estimate that up to 300 people are needed per match.
The governments could put a stop to any plans from the DFL, but they are aware of the economic struggles of professional football and are expected to grant the wish of the clubs.