- The German League set to kick-off on Saturday 16
- Becomes first major sporting league in Europe to resume
- Mental Health and Psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Bundesliga resumes Saturday in the afternoon after nearly two months on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The German league becomes the first major sporting league in Europe to resume hosting games and fans around the world will be yearning for some action after nearly two months starved of football.
While UFC 249 last week provided a spectacle of what the sporting fans have been missing, football fans will be more thrilled for some 90 minutes of football action.
As the football world waits for the first whistle, Khusoko Sports looks at some key points that will punctuate the Bundesliga resumption:
The games will be held behind closed doors – no fans. Teams such as Borussia Dortmund will miss their ‘twelfth player’ as fans are barred from attending games and thus the stadiums will remain empty with only selected members of staff allowed in. Germans are calling matches behind closed doors “Geisterspiele”.
While players are nowadays accustomed to choreographed celebrations and handshakes, these will not be allowed once football resumes. Players are advised to minimize contact with other players with spitting banned in the pitch.
Teams will be allowed to make up to five substitutions per match. The substitutions ought to occur in three breaks only to avoid instances of players or teams wasting time.
Football’s rule-making body IFAB ruled earlier this month that teams could make five substitutions instead of the usual three as a temporary measure to prevent players from injuries accrued from playing packed fixture schedules.
While the games are set to resume, caution remains on the risk of the coronavirus. Players and staff are tested twice per week while the different teams hosted in isolation hotels during the past week. Should a player experience symptoms, they are to notify the team doctors and begin self-isolation and undergo testing.
Concerns emerged when second-tier Dynamo Dresden’s entire squad was quarantined by the local health authority following two positive tests, forcing their first two games to be postponed.
However, when three players at Cologne tested positive, only the players affected were isolated. Under German law, the final decision in such cases lies with local health authorities.
Race for the title
With nine matches left in the league, Bayern Munich sit at the summit, four points ahead of rivals Dortmund. The Bavarians will be looking to seal their eighth consecutive title should they maintain the lead.
Dortmund host sixth-place Schalke in the Revierderby – a rivalry borne 95 years ago.
Bundesliga Opening weekend fixtures
Saturday, May 16
- Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04
- RB Leipzig vs Freiburg
- Hoffenheim vs Hertha BSC
- Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Paderborn
- Augsburg vs Wolfsburg
- Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia M’gladbach
Sunday, May 17
- Cologne vs Mainz
- Union Berlin vs Bayern Munich
Monday, May 18
- Werder Bremen vs Bayer Leverkusen