Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – The number of cases is increasing significantly, the spectators are again banned from the stadiums and infections are also increasing among the pros: the Bundesliga is facing a hard Corona autumn with many question marks.
BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke even covered the worst-case scenario for professional football on the weekend of the fourth match day. “It has to go on. We need these ghost games anyway. If we don’t have them anymore, it will be very tight,” Watzke said in the ZDF “Sports Studio” late Saturday night.
Despite a record number of new infections, an abrupt interruption such as in mid-March is not to be feared at this time. Clubs and managers will still have to be prepared for the inconveniences that they put aside with great optimism at the start of the season in September.
An excerpt from this weekend: Several professionals, including striker Andrej Kramaric from TSG Hoffenheim, were absent because they were infected during the international break. The 20 percent of the spectators won through tough negotiations with politicians, was only possible in one of the nine Bundesliga stadiums and in the second division a match was postponed for the second time this season.
BVB coach Lucien Favre’s words were alarming. “We have to keep playing as long as possible,” said the Swiss. Considering other cases, he added, “It’s not okay to travel.” But while Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in view of the dynamic situation on Saturday called on citizens to limit contacts and travel less, the club’s plan for the coming weeks looks like this: weekly European Cup trips, often to risk areas, and already In November, the next three-pack of international games, often requiring long distances across the continent currently plagued by Corona.
It is precisely at these international matches that some head bosses irritate. Sports director Alexander Rosen van Hoffenheim, who hit the hardest after the international break with three corona failures, called for a reconsideration. “This is an exclamation point that we need to set up now, maybe as a league, maybe through the DFL, that we will act differently in the next second period,” said Rosen on Sky. If you need to, you should “think about it more, don’t let the boys go,” the official added.
Leipzig sports director Markus Krösche sees the situation in the same way. “When you see the rising numbers, you have to think about whether it makes sense to switch it off in the next downtime,” demanded Krösche. When it comes to clubs, it always sounds between the lines: European Cup trips to the risk area are okay, because international matches don’t have to be there either. The fact that the unions moved into the leagues in the spring with their postponement of the EM to 2021 already seems to have been suppressed by a number of front runners.
Stuttgart sports director Sven Mislintat, meanwhile, has campaigned for mutual understanding. “To be fair, I think we should just take it as it comes. We can’t talk about it every week when it comes to a national player having to play two or three games,” said the 47-year-old. No hassle from VfB.
Mislintat, on the other hand, does not see the risk of infection or quarantine for any of its players greater than in other areas of life. “If a player of ours comes back from the national team and he is positive – let’s be honest: that can also happen if he eats an ice cream at Schlossplatz,” he said. “We have to find a healthy dose, and most of them do.”
In addition to infected players, the public question remains a hot topic. Watzke made a clear calculation in the television studio of what the increased corona figures mean for the club of his BVB: “We have an enormous cost structure and we have to make money at some point. That was another setback that we have to play without spectators. Schalke will be one for us. Million, the same against St. Petersburg. “Given the current development, it is also unlikely that the clubs will be able to increase their attendance numbers again soon towards Advent.
Watzke did not agree with the tendency of a number of officials that, because of the thorough hygiene concepts, it was also possible to play with the public when the limit values were exceeded. “We presented a concept and offered this 35 as a number to the politicians,” said the 61-year-old, referring to the incidence value, which indicates the number of infected people per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. “Reliability means that we stick to the offer we made and are not trying to renegotiate now,” added Watzke.
Still, he couldn’t resist a swipe at politics. The BVB boss criticized what he saw as “populist football bashing,” which recently came “in part from the federal government.” “I didn’t think it was appropriate,” Watzke said in a statement by Merkel about the importance of football, which he no longer specifically recalled. Merkel had said last week: “When playing football you can consider whether you let in fewer people or none at all.” Watzke cautioned, “We don’t need to ask the question of interest, but rather the potential risk.”