Bundesliga on 'probation', warns German league boss

Christian Seifert (AFP)
Christian Seifert (AFP)

The head of the German football League (DFL) on Thursday warned clubs they are "on probation" and must implement strict hygiene measures when the Bundesliga restarts in nine days' time.

Professional football in Germany had been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Everyone must be clear: we are playing on probation," DFL CEO Christian Seifert said at a press conference in Frankfurt ahead of the restart on 16 May.

"I expect everyone to live up to their responsibilities."

The resumption date has been pushed back a day to a week on Saturday, with second-placed Borussia Dortmund hosting arch rivals Schalke in the Ruhr derby in the pick of the first matches.

Defending champions Bayern Munich, who sit four points clear of Dortmund, will travel to face Union Berlin on the Sunday.

On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel granted permission for football to return behind closed doors, providing the league sticks to its plan for regular testing of players and backroom staff.

Seifert said Germany could pave the way for other countries, with leagues in England, Spain and Italy still suspended, while France has already ended the Ligue 1 season.

"This concept can be a blueprint for everyone," he said.

Teams must be quarantined for seven days before the restart, with the season scheduled to finish on the final weekend of June.

Seifert said the Bundesliga will increase the number of substitutions from three to five, if world governing-body FIFA has its proposal rubber-stamped on Friday.

Fixtures (all times SA time)

Saturday, 16 May

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04, RB Leipzig v Freiburg, Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin, Fortuna Duesseldorf v Paderborn, Augsburg v Wolfsburg (15:30), Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Moenchengladbach (18:30)

Sunday, 17 May

Cologne v Mainz (15:30), Union Berlin v Bayern Munich (18:00)

Monday, 18 May

Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen (20:30)

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