Germany’s Top Soccer League Could Return As Early As May 9

The Bundesliga, Germany’s top soccer league, is ready to resume fixtures from May 9, if the government ratifies its plan to play games with coronavirus restrictions in place.

The league met today to discuss plans and has now outlined its strategy. According to Sky in Germany, matches would be played without fans, with a maximum of 300 people involved at the stadium on match day. Players will be tested at least once a week, which would necessitate around 20,000 tests across the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

Organizing body the German Football League (DFL) said today it viewed the measures as “feasible” but would prefer to play games with fans.

The news will be salve to broadcasters who have been deprived of valuable live sports since the lockdown began. The Bundesliga is one of Europe’s top leagues, featuring clubs including Bayern Munich, and is shown in more than 200 countries. While the package of those rights is not as pricey as the UK Premier League, which remains the sport’s most valuable competition, the domestic rights deal is worth $1.25BN per year alone.

Now, the onus will be on the German government to confirm that the league can resume. This week in the country some shops were allowed to reopen as the nation begins a gradual exit from its lockdown, though PM Angela Merkel has warned that the process must be cautious to avoid a second wave of the virus. Germany has recored 151,175 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date and 5,354 deaths, though those numbers have slowed considerably in recent weeks.

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