The Bundesliga is waiting for the political signal to start the season again. But it could take a little longer. Preparations for Day X are still being made behind the scenes.
Berlin (dpa) - With the start of comprehensive corona tests at all first and second division clubs, German professional football set off on Thursday the next stage of preparation for a continuation of the Bundesliga season.
However, the billion-dollar industry will probably have to wait a few days longer for the signal from the politicians to restart the game, which has been suspended since mid-March, than the 36 clubs had hoped.
"This is a sensitive issue that is sure to be discussed," said Chancellor Helge Braun (CDU) on Thursday a few hours before the meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Prime Ministers of the 16 federal states told n-tv. "I expect decisions in the next week."
Here, professional football has to be assessed a little differently than popular sport, since players are also concerned about their jobs, Braun emphasized. "We have to make a wise decision there," he said. The interior and sports ministers of the federal states had previously stated that a restart with ghost games is conceivable in mid or late May.
The SPD prime ministers Stephan Weil (Lower Saxony) and Dietmar Woidke (Brandenburg), on the other hand, expressed skepticism about a possible continuation of the season. Because "it is not appropriate that we let the Bundesliga start again, but have no prospects for the children or for mass sports," he said on Thursday in the ARD "Morgenmagazin".
A similar opinion was expressed by Woidke on the RBB-Inforadio: "Playgrounds are closed, daycare centers are closed, Bundesliga is playing again - that doesn't really fit together". This, I believe, will meet with little approval among the masses of the population.
SPD leader Norbert Walter-Borjans expressed himself more reserved. "The message behind the start of the Bundesliga is ambiguous: many are happy about the variety at the weekend. Me too," he told the German press agency. "But it also gives the impression that the state is giving in to business interests and allowing things that it does not yet allow elsewhere. This raises the question of what about the many youth teams and other team sports that are just as important."
Accompanied by a controversial public discussion, the 36 professional clubs continue to prepare for Day X. Since Thursday, all players have been regularly tested for the corona virus. This was confirmed by the German Football League. The "kicker" had previously reported about it.
The tests are part of the safety and hygiene concept that the DFL created for the hoped-for continuation of the game and presented in the previous week. Two tests should be carried out before resuming team training. This is to prevent contagion during training.
In the event that the Bundesliga season can be played without a viewer, Walter-Borjans spoke in favor of broadcasting the 82 outstanding games on free TV. "If it should start again, then I would be very much that the fans do not have to pay for ghost games," said the SPD boss. DFL boss Christian Seifert had recently pointed out that this could not be implemented for contractual reasons with the various media partners.
With one exception, the DFL had reached an agreement with all rights holders last week about the payment of the last TV installment for the current season. According to the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (Thursday), only Eurosport wants to terminate its TV contract this week. This would affect those currently interrupted due to the Corona crisis and the coming season.
This could initiate a lawsuit worth millions and could threaten the clubs in the currently difficult financial situation with a greater financial loss. Eurosport did not want to comment on the report at dpa request.
Braun interview at n-tv