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Chancellor Merkel gives green signal to restart German league on May 15

Prime News, International, Football, Berlin, May 7:- The Bundesliga will resume on May 15, the German league confirmed on Wednesday (May 6), after Chancellor Angela Merkel and state leaders gave the green light to restart behind closed doors following weeks of shutdown imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus.

The German Football League (DFL) confirmed the restart date to AFP susidiary SID on Wednesday night. The political blessing makes the German top-flight the first of Europe’s five major leagues to return to the field.

“Matches will be allowed under the approved rules,” said Merkel at a press conference held in Berlin.

Germany’s top politicians approved a plan for the Bundesliga to resume in stadiums without spectators and with players regularly tested. Permission was granted on condition that strict guidelines are followed – with a hygiene officer appointed to each team – to prevent contagion of the virus.

Bayern Munich and Germany captain Manuel Neuer said the players now had an “enormous responsibility” to be role models and follow the hygiene guidelines.

Representatives from the 36 clubs in the country’s top two divisions will finalise details in a video conference on Thursday.

Karl Lauterbach, a prominent health expert with Chancellor Merkel’s coalition partners, the Social Democrats, slammed the decision as “disappointing and wrong,” saying it was driven by commercial interests.

However, Bavarian state premier Markus Söder defended the move. “This compromise regarding football is absolutely justifiable – even though this is a controversial subject,” Söder said. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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