Season restart on May 16: endurance test for new football normality

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After the green light of politics for the restart of the season in professional football, the 36 club heads discussed the rest of the season.

The start was postponed by one day, the district derby right in front, five substitutions possible – after exactly 66 days of a Corona compulsory break, the restart of the season on May 16 immediately becomes an endurance test for the new normal football. “The games will feel different and different,” said DFL boss Christian Seifert after the virtual consultations of the 36 club bosses on Thursday: “It will not be normal game play. Everyone in the league must be aware that we are playing on probation. I expect everyone to live up to their responsibilities. ”

Specifically, the plan of the German Football League (DFL) is to continue with the 26th matchday and the season on 27/28. To finish June. The concept for the remaining nine game days includes two English weeks plus the catch-up game between Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen. All games will be played as so-called ghost games in camera, with the traditional derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 drawing particular attention on 16 May.

Before the restart, all teams must go to a one-week quarantine training camp. The DFL is considering the substitution of five players made possible by the World Association FIFA.

Majority of the clubs are for the earliest possible restart

In the run-up to the discussions, there had been a dispute over the start date, which was determined by the responsible DFL Presidium. For example, those responsible at Werder Bremen and FSV Mainz 05 had spoken out for a later date. The vast majority of clubs, including record champions Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, advocated a restart as soon as possible.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 prime ministers of the federal states cleared the way for the start of the season with a unanimous decision after heated discussions. Despite the criticism and the risks, the majority of the top politicians described the decision as “justifiable”, as this would limit the economic damage.

The decision was based on the DFL concept, which aims to carry out the games “with a medically acceptable risk”. For that, professional football will probably need 20,000 tests by the end of the season. In terms of logistics, the concept stipulates that “a maximum of about 300 people” should be on the stadium grounds during a match.

Another question mark behind the implementation of the DFL concept

The decision of the politicians had given the clubs great relief. The future of numerous clubs, a total of 56,000 jobs and 770 million euros were at stake for the industry. However, the league will play on probation – top politicians like Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder left no doubt about that. The unmasking video by Berlin-based Salomon Kalou in particular has shown the fine line on which football is walking.

The failure of the now suspended professional was water on the mills of the numerous doubters, who have not fallen silent despite the political decision. Some other sports, numerous virologists, SPD health experts Karl Lauterbach and Bremen’s senator Ulrich Mäurer see the restart as a wrong decision for various reasons. They list medical and social aspects as well as questions of security and equal treatment.

Football argues, among other things, with a pioneering role for the rest of the sport. The head of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) basically sees it that way, but President Alfons Hörmann also has concerns. “We see what is now being implemented as sensible and correct,” said the DOSB boss in BR: “However, with the big question mark as to whether those responsible will be able to implement the whole thing consistently and professionally.”

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