The top two tiers in Germany will return on May 15 as the government continues to ease lockdown conditions
German chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that Bundesliga football can return to action “in the second half of May”.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Merkel confirmed that the German top tier could resume play as long as teams adhere to strict rules.
The news means that both the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga can move on with their playing schedules, with the Sport Information Service (SID) confirming that May 15 will be the league’s start date.
As a result, the league will return for the 26th matchday of the season with nine total matchdays still remaining for this campaign.
Having reviewed a safety plan put forward by the leagues, Merkel told the press: “Matches are allowed to be played under the approved rules.”
Following the conclusion of Wednesday’s meeting the German government released the following statement: “The Federal Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states consider the continuation of play in the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga to be justifiable for the 36 clubs eligible to start there at their expense from the second half of May.
DFL determines the specific match dates.”
The decision comes as part of Germany ‘s gradual easing of lockdown conditions, with all open-air sports allowed to be practised without contact. It has been recommended that people keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres apart.
On Thursday, the DFL, which has developed a comprehensive set of hygiene protocols for the proposed restart, will host a general meeting via video conference. The governing body, along with representatives from 36 clubs, will discuss the finer details of the resumption of play.
In addition to having to reschedule all Bundesliga fixtures, the meeting will also include finding ways to play out the remainder of the DFB Cup semi-finals and final.
The DFL has also been asked to “develop a sustainable concept for the future of other leagues”, referring in particular to the German third division and women’s leagues.
Earlier this week, the DFL confirmed there had been 10 positive test results for coronavirus in the top two divisions in Germany, following on from Cologne confirming three staff members had tested positive for the virus.