COVID-struck Germany stadia at max 15,000 fans



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Germany limits capacity to 15000 fans Image: DORTMUNDtourismus

With COVID-19 stinging Germany with full force, football stadiums in the country can now only run on a maximum capacity of 50 percent which means only 15,000 fans will be allowed into the venue fold for now.

The ‘kicker’ stated that a decision in this regard was taken by the Prime Ministers of the Federal States in a meeting held on December 2nd. The Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel (CDU), and her designated successor, Olaf Scholz (SPD), led the meeting and decided on the above step as part of greater measures initiated to combat the virus which continues to ravage Germany. In few Federal States of Germany, the ghost games threat still looms large.

The 2G rules will be in promulgation in stadia which means only fans who have taken both the shots in their arms and those who have recovered from coronavirus will be allowed access into stadiums. Additionally, ‘2G Plus’ may also be in force, in which case the visitors would also have to show a coronavirus negative test at the ingress points of sports facilities. Face coverings have been made mandatory.

The ‘kicker’ further stated that the German Football League (DFL) welcomed the above decision and the head honcho Christian Seifert stated, “At a time when the coronavirus situation is very grim in Germany, an effective strategy is the need of the hour to arrest the virulent virus. We understand and appreciate the restricted capacities decision on football stadia. The DFL hopes that this decision taken by the Federal and State Governments will help in rapid improvement of the pandemic situation in the country. The DFL and its clubs will continue to support all vaccination efforts.”

Anticipating a restriction on spectators’ attendance, the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund has already canceled all tickets sold for their game against Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich slated for December 4th. The top brass of Borussia Dortmund were hoping that 26,000 spectators would be allowed into the BVB residence – the 81,365-capacity Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany.

In few Federal States, where COVID-19 continues to ravage with full force, ghost games are expected. Already, the German States of Saxony, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria are planning ghost games. The Minister-President of Bavaria, Markus Söder (CSU), stated that ghost games policy should be promulgated all over Germany and made an independent announcement that football matches will be played sans fans in Bavaria.

The above rules also apply to indoor sports such as basketball, handball and ice hockey. For the time being, a maximum of 5,000 spectators are allowed in these games.

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