German Bundesliga Set to Return May 16th

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REUTERS

Germany’s professional soccer league, the Bundesliga, is set to return on May 16th after weeks of not hosting any games. The league was put on hold since March 13th due to the coronavirus pandemic and will resume over two months later behind closed doors. This will be the first major European league to resume after being postponed. 

New measures will be taken to assure the health and safety of the Bundesliga’s players. One important protocol includes testing players for Covid-19. A first wave of testing was held where 1,724 players and staff members of Germany’s top two leagues were tested and ten confirmed cases were made public. Other protocols include increasing the amount of substitutions per team to five to allow players to adjust to the return and laying balls out on the side lines to eliminate the need for ball boys, therefore, decreasing the amount of people in the stadium. 

Although fans are not allowed to enter the stadium, many fear that they will congregate outside the stadiums either way. 

However, according to Stephan Uersfeld from ESPN, “…several leading Ultra and supporter groups have said they have no plans to do so, even though some have rejected the idea of football without fans.”

With only nine games remaining in the league, Bayern Munich is leading in first place. The second place team, Borussia Dortmund, is only trailing by four points and third-place RB Leipzig is five points away from leading. Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern Leverkusen also have a chance to clinch the title-winning spot.  

All eyes are on Germany now as other countries are looking to resume their leagues as early as June. The Spanish and Italian leagues started training again in May. On the other hand, the French and Dutch leagues officially canceled their 2019-20 seasons back in April.