Bundesliga season could return in early May as German officials back plan to play behind closed doors

Germany’s Bundesliga could be set to return on May 9 behind closed doors with effective coronavirus containment strategies in place throughout the country. Teams are back in training, though currently using groups of about seven or eight players. Bild hosted a Bundesliga summit where Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Soder and North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minster Armin Laschet said they are in favor of the league returning on that date, adding a proper plan could make that possible, pending approval by the DFL (German Football League) and ministry of health. 

“The prerequisite is that there is a well thought-out concept. What the DFL has presented these days shows that protective measures are in place. I could imagine that we can go back to the state of the games with no fans,” Laschet said, according to Bild.

This comes as the DFL’s general meeting was rescheduled from last week to this Thursday, and officials could announce the date of a restart after the summit.

“Games with audience participation are completely unthinkable,” Soder said. “Ghost games are also a tightrope walk. It is conceivable that we might be able to play such a ghost round at the earliest from May 9.”

Schalke and U.S. men’s national team midfielder Weston McKennie told CBS Sports last week that he’s hopeful the league will resume soon and that it could be just what people in quarantine and lockdown situations need. 

“Hopefully it’s a relief, a sense of satisfaction as well,” McKennie said. “All of us, the whole sports world, have been without sports for quite some time. Everyone has gotten a taste of what it would be like without sports. I know I definitely have.

“Whenever sports do come back, I think it will be a good time for many people and a way to kind of try and get past this time that we all have been going through. It would be good for the healing process, something for people to finally look forward to.”

The league has completed 25 of 34 matchdays, with Bayern Munich leading the table with 55 points. Borussia Dortmund is in second with 51 points. 

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