Berlin, March 10 (IANS) While Swiss, French, and Italian sports are shutting down doors due to the coronavirus outbreak, it gives Germany a very different picture. The reason might be the federal political system with local health authorities deciding in states and smaller regions about to run large-scale events or not.
The German health minister’s recommendation, to consider cancelling all events with more than 1000 people, isn’t compulsory but rather a suggestion.
Despite that, German football fans might have to turn on their television sets to watch their favourite club play, reports Xinhua news agency.
While Borussia Dortmund is facing a game behind closed doors in the last-16-round second leg in Paris, the authorities of the City Leipzig have decided to implement specific precautionary measures but run the game of RB Leipzig against Tottenham Hotspur with fans allowed on the stands.
The City of Stuttgart made a similar decision for the second division top game of VfB Stuttgart against Arminia Bielefeld this Monday evening. Visitors will have their temperature checked at the gate by security.
In Northern-Rhine Westphalia, the state with the highest rate of infection in Germany, things might end differently.
The famous derby of Dortmund against Schalke this Saturday afternoon might have to take place behind closed doors. The state’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann announced that a corresponding directive would be issued shortly. The Northern-Rhine Westphalian government intends to follow the German health minister’s advice.
The intention might affect the postponed Bundesliga match between Moenchengladbach against Cologne, rescheduled for this Wednesday evening. City authorities said a decision would be announced by Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Christian Seifert has announced that the games of the first three leagues must take place due to scheduling difficulties. The chairman of the Deutsche Fubball Liga (the German league association) said the season has to be finished orderly to provide facts regarding promotion and participation in international competitions.
Clubs and association said they keep close contact with health authorities, and decisions could change on a short-term basis.
Cologne sporting director Horst Heldt said open-air events such as football games couldn’t be compared to in-doors sports events. Several other sports events, such as Badminton, have been called off.
Bayern Munich professionals such as Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich expressed understanding for drastic measures but said football without fans wouldn’t provide the same atmosphere. Players and coaches might have to get prepared for a game in silence.
Augsburg’s coach Martin Schmidt recommended postponing internationals such as the friendlies of the German national team against Italy and Spain. “International games require a lot of travelling players from many different teams. Therefore, I regard a break as the right decision,” the Swiss said.
The ruling German Volleyball Champion MTV Allianz Stuttgart cancelled the second leg in the Champions League against an Italian side located near Venice. The Stuttgart women’s team accepted dropping out of the current campaign. The first leg took place in Stuttgart under extraordinary precautionary measures.