Bundesliga back to square one – sans fans!


German Bundesliga back with ghost games Image: TSG Hoffenheim

Bundesliga is back to square one – playing without fans again. The tentative return of spectators was cut short due to rising coronavirus infections in Germany.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Governors of the country’s 16 States passed new restrictions against arresting the virus which is back to clobbering Europe.

Professional football matches will have to be played without spectators starting Monday and for the rest of November, while amateur sports have been suspended altogether with the exception of individual exercises.

Anyway, the Bundesliga has been playing with limited or no fans present this season with teams following local restrictions based on infection rates. But Wednesday’s new measures are the first nationwide clampdown since the Bundesliga’s two-month suspension when the pandemic began in March.

Germany’s disease control agency earlier reported a record 14,964 new infections over the previous 24 hours, and another 27 COVID-19-related deaths, taking the overall death toll to 10,098.

“We must act, and now, to avoid an acute national health emergency,” Merkel said, as she outlined the reasons behind closing restaurants, bars, clubs, cinemas, theaters and other leisure facilities for four weeks.

“We have to flatten the curve, to stabilize the rate of new infections so we can get them down again,” Merkel said.

Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke had already announced that their Bundesliga games this weekend will be played without fans, while Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League match against Zenit St. Petersburg on Wednesday would also take place in an empty stadium.

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