BERLIN (AP) — The Bundesliga can resume playing this month, ending a two-month suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a loosening of a range of containment measures after meeting with the country’s 16 state governors on Wednesday. Pressure to relax the rules had been growing as the rate of daily infections in the country has dropped.
Soccer in the top two divisions will resume without spectators and with a range of other conditions designed to prevent another outbreak, including the continuous monitoring and testing of players. Teams will also have to spend time in quarantine before games can restart.
“Today’s decision is good news for the Bundesliga and second division,” German soccer league president Christian Seibert said. “It comes with great responsibility for the clubs and their employees to implement the medical and organizational requirements in a disciplined manner.
“Games without spectators are not ideal 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.”