Saturday 4 July, 2020

Bundesliga set to resume on May 15 - reports

Borussia Monchengladbach celebrate during their win over Cologne, which was played behind closed doors in March.

Borussia Monchengladbach celebrate during their win over Cologne, which was played behind closed doors in March.

The first Bundesliga match since March will take place on Friday, May 15, reports in Germany have claimed.

Angela Merkel's government on Wednesday gave permission for the top two tiers, which have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, to resume behind closed doors in the second half of May.

An announcement regarding the specific restart date is due from the German Football League (DFL) on Thursday.

However, it was widely reported that the 36 clubs in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga have already been informed the 2019-20 season will get back underway next Friday.

Newspaper Bild was the first to report the story, and football magazine Kicker reported it had seen a letter from DFL chief executive Christian Seifert that was sent to all 36 clubs in the top two leagues.

In the letter, Seifert reportedly says: "After weighing up all the arguments, the DFL executive committee today decided ... to restart Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga matches from May 15, 2020."

If the DFL continues with the previous schedule, the next top-flight match will see Fortuna Dusseldorf play Paderborn.

There are nine full rounds of fixtures remaining in the Bundesliga, while Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen will meet in their game in hand.

In an initial statement issued in response to the government's decision, DFL boss Seifert said getting football back underway behind closed doors was the only way to maintain the integrity of the competition.

"Today's decision is good news for the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga," Seifert said.

"It is associated with a great responsibility for the clubs and their employees to implement the medical and organisational requirements in a disciplined manner.

"Games without stadium spectators are not an ideal solution for anyone. However, during a crisis, which threatens the very existence of some clubs, it is the only way to preserve the leagues in their present form.

"I would like to thank the political decision-makers at the state and federal levels for placing their confidence in us."

While the 2019-20 season will return in Germany, the Dutch Eredivisie and French Ligue 1 have already cancelled their campaigns due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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