The Bundesliga breathes a sigh of relief. The first high-ranking politicians apparently clear the way for ghost games. From May 9, the ball could roll again in the Bundesliga – even without a spectator. This was said by Markus Söder (CSU) and Armin Laschet (CDU), the Prime Ministers of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, on Monday in the “Bild” live program. “The prerequisite is that there is a well thought-out concept,” said Laschet. “What the DFL has presented these days shows that protective measures are in place. I could imagine that we can return to the state of the ghost games.” The sports ministers of the federal states did not want to go so far and had considered a possible restart in mid-May.
Söder said: “It is a tightrope walk. We have to be careful now that we are not over the top or frivolous. Games with audience participation are completely unthinkable. Even ghost games are a tightrope walk. It is conceivable that we might have one from May 9 at the earliest can play such a ghost round. ” One thing is clear: “A weekend with football is much more bearable than a weekend without football.”
DFL wants to advise on Thursday
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn does not want to block himself. “With the overall concept, ghost games are certainly possible again. The decisive factor is that the risk of infection is minimized. That would be a piece of normality for millions of football fans from May 9, even if in an empty stadium,” said Spahn at “Bild”.
The Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 will pause until at least April 30. On Thursday, the German Football League wants to discuss further steps and a possible continuation of the season with ghost games. “These are positive signals that were sent out. This gives both leagues an important perspective,” said DFL boss Christian Seifert at the date, but also warned: “Politics trust us, and we and especially the players must now be role models . ”
Shortly before, the conference of sports ministers had announced that Bundesliga football in front of empty ranks “according to the current state of discussion” would be justifiable from mid or late May. The ministers responsible for sports had not yet decided on an exact date when they called the telephone on Monday, a statement said.
Rummenigge: “Very positive signal”
Söder and Laschet’s statements were “a very positive signal for the resumption of Bundesliga operations,” said Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge when asked by the DPA news agency. “It is important that we deal with the legal and medical requirements of politicians in an exemplary and very serious manner in order to minimize the health risk.”
Rummenigge thanked “the management of the DFL with Christian Seifert at the top for an excellent concept that takes the organizational and medical aspects into account”. This concept is “the basis for a positive and trusting assessment of politics,” said Rummenigge.
Borussia Dortmund’s managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke immediately used the announcement that the game would resume as a declaration of war. “The championship has not yet been decided. On match day 34 we will see who can hold up the bowl,” he said.
Strict hygiene regulations for games
The Bremen sports senator and SMK chairwoman Anja Stahmann (Greens) said after the ministers’ conference call: “As far as the concepts have proven their worth, game operations can be extended to the third division, the women’s Bundesliga and the DFB Cup with a time lag . “
If the game continues, the DFL must “create the strictest hygienic and medical conditions, enforce them and check them with suitable measures,” said Stahmann. The television production for the games must take place with the lowest possible personnel and under strict hygienic conditions. The DFL and the clubs must also do their part to prevent ghost games from “gathering fan groups, even in the vicinity of the stadiums,” emphasized Stahmann after the debate with her counterparts.
Without the games from the nine remaining game days and the associated TV revenue, various clubs would have been in great financial need. The DFL has not yet reached a binding agreement on the payment of the fourth and final installment of more than 300 million euros to the clubs, as it announced last Friday.
Resumption of mass and top sport?
The ministers also discussed prospects for the resumption of popular and elite sport and a gradual return to training and competition as part of the corona pandemic strategy. There are already exemptions for the training of professional athletes and senior athletes in most federal states. Where that was not the case, it should be made up for, it was said. With a position paper, the German Olympic Sports Confederation presented a suitable basis for concrete implementation, which is a suitable benchmark.
“It was important to us that we find a return to work, a perspective of how things can finally start again in sports. There is a very broad consensus among the sports ministers,” said Andy Grote (SPD), Minister for Sports in Hamburg .