Bundesliga restart on track despite Dynamo Dresden setback: DFL chief
Germany's second-tier Dresden placed in two-week quarantine following two positive coronavirus tests
The Bundesliga restart is not at risk even after the entire squad of second-tier Dynamo Dresden were placed under quarantine, the head of the German Football League (DFL) said.
Dynamo were ordered to self-isolate for 14 days on Saturday, after testing uncovered two new Covid-19 cases.
The blow came just days after Chancellor Angela Merkel's government gave the green light for the Bundesliga season to resume this Saturday following a two-month absence.
But DFL boss Christian Seifert downplayed the Dynamo setback.
"It's not a reason to call the entire season into question. It was always clear to me that this could happen. We're at the very beginning of the restart," he told German broadcaster ZDF late on Saturday.
Seifert did, however, admit that although he saw no problems now, further coronavirus cases could throw a spanner in the works.
"It can reach a scale where it's not feasible any more," he said.
"It would depend on how much time there is left to finish the season... A lot of player contracts are running out, so we want to play as many games as possible before then."
The Bundesliga season is slated to end by June 30, but some matches could also be postponed until early July, Seifert added.
To ensure the German league is completed successfully, footballers have a crucial role to play warned Tim Meyer, the head of both the Bundesliga's new coronavirus task force and the Uefa medical committee.
DISCIPLINED & RESPONSIBLE
"Players need to be disciplined and responsible. Keeping themselves away from the virus and the virus from them is the target," Meyer said yesterday.
"They are very public and need to show how to behave - on the pitch, play football as always but as soon as you leave the pitch, you are a citizen again and need to behave as a citizen in times of coronavirus."
The Bundesliga will be the first major European league to restart matches since the coronavirus outbreak forced lockdown measures to be imposed across the continent.
Matches will be played behind closed doors and with a maximum number of 300 people, including both teams, allowed at each game.
In the run-up to the restart, all teams must go into a one-week quarantine training camp.
The German league has produced a detailed set of strict guidelines for the restart which include three separate zones at stadiums to limit human contact and reduce the chances of viral transmission along with a large-scale testing procedure.
There will also be an impact for those living with players.
The co-habitants, wives or partners of all Bundesliga players will be required to choose from three options - to undergo two tests, agree to document every contact outside the house or they have to live separately.
Meyer said it would be difficult to produce a more stringent system.
"You cannot easily be stricter than we are. You can put everyone into a complete quarantine," he said.
"You can do that, but you need to be aware what you are doing then isolating a number of young men, completely, from the outside world for several weeks is not easy.
"We do not know if it works or what the consequences are, not just on a medical but also a psychological level... Being stricter is difficult." - AFP, REUTERS