The German Bundesliga league can resume this month under the confirmation of German chancellor Angela Merkel. This will be the first major league in Europe to return to competition as clubs have been told by the German Football league (DFL) that it would start by May 15th.
All matches will be played behind closed doors but the start date will be confirmed on Thursday after the 36 clubs and the DFL have met via online conference video link. Bayern chairman Karl Heinz Rummenigge said, “I would like to thank the politicians for giving today’s decision and for the opportunity to finish the German Bundesliga season. We are now looking forward to resuming play, ideally from mid-May. This ensures that the sporting decisions are made on the pitch. I appeal to everyone involved to follow the requirements, which are the basis for resuming games, in an exemplary and extremely disciplined manner.”
Christian Seifert, chief executive of the DFL, added, “Today’s decision is good news for the Bundesliga and the Bundesliga 2. It is associated with a great responsibility for the clubs and their employees to implement the medical and organizational requirements in a disciplined manner. Games without spectators 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.”
The DFL had warned that many top-division teams would be in an “existence-threatening” financial position if play did not resume by June. Players returned to training last month, with the DFL initially saying the league would be ready to return on 9 May.
The announcement to open the games comes after the German government declared a relaxation of the lockdown and Merkel allowed for the heads of the 16 states to be responsible for their members.