The German government yesterday confirmed a host of new measures to the existing lockdown protocol following the outbreak of COVID-19. The green light was also given for the restart of the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga league campaigns and today, a General Meeting was called by the DFL to agree on the finer details.
Football will continue from Saturday May 16 – starting with the Bundesliga's 26th round of fixtures. On Sunday at 18:00, 1. FC Union Berlin will take on German champions Bayern Munich at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. All Bundesliga matches will take place behind closed doors and under the conditions of the DFL's hygiene strategy.
1. FC Union Berlin president Dirk Zingler said: "The government's decision was eagerly anticipated, everybody at the DFL has been working hard to find a way to resume games. Yesterday, it was confirmed we can play games again from the middle of May, but not under the same conditions as we're used to. The DFL's 36 member clubs had the opportunity to develop a strategy together with the relevant external authorities and organisations to continue playing in the coming weeks. Now the big challenge for each individual is to implement this plan in an exemplary manner. We have been given a huge leap of faith, and now we have to justify it."
"Of course, I'm aware of the public debate in society and I take it very seriously. You all know my simple attitude that football is primarily for the people inside the stadiums - that's the core of it all. So the coming weeks will also present a mental challenge on top of the economic, legal and organisational issues. Football is deeply rooted in society through the people, so it is also important for us to keep the time without spectators in the stadium as short as possible.
"If measures in football are relaxed quicker than in other areas, it's naturally going to cause some dissatisfaction. But for us, as well, there is no return to the regular game, but only relaxation under extreme conditions in which football has taken on a role where it is controlled more strictly and more rigorously than across other sectors. The plan must now show itself in our everyday life," continued Zingler, shortly after the DFL's press conference this afternoon.
As stated in the DFL's hygiene plan, all Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga teams will go into quarantine before the resumption of the campaign. 1. FC Union Berlin will prepare for the upcoming matches at a training camp in Lower Saxony from Saturday May 10.