Cologne (AP) – Tim Meyer is concerned. At the DFB chief physician and the German Football League (DFL), fears of infection chains are growing among Bundesliga clubs in the corona crisis.
In his role as head of the medical task force, 52-year-old Meyer makes an urgent appeal to players and supervisors to protect themselves from the virus at the start of the cooler season and after the first game in the 2nd division (HSV versus Aue). . .
“We cannot just stand by and see that there are more and more individual cases and that at a certain point the first chain of infection in a club arises. We come under the individual responsibility of each individual. Everyone must act responsibly in their private life. That is a message that is sent to us. is very important to me. ” Meyer told the German news agency for the international matches of the German national team against Turkey next Wednesday and in the risk area Ukraine and again in Cologne against Switzerland.
The team doctor urges caution: “There have been some cases of corona in the clubs in recent weeks. Last weekend there was also a first match failure. That is not yet dramatic. But we must make it clear that the current pandemic situation is affecting other parts of the world. population and not just hotspots. “
At the end of last season, Meyer mentions two central differences: “Firstly, more people in Germany are contagious. And secondly, the young population groups are also increasingly affected, ie the groups in which players and, for example, coaches are potentially out.”
This development must also be taken into account in the clubs. “So far there have been no chains of infection there. That means the concept appears to be well implemented on the club’s premises. The positive cases are very likely to come from private life,” says Meyer, concluding: “That will be in the coming weeks. Months are about acting privately as a player and also as a coach for the professionals, in such a way that the virus is not passed on in the team. “
There have been examples of caution for a long time. Borussia Dortmund’s young star Jadon Sancho (20) did not initially travel to the roster of his country on Monday after allegedly participating in a birthday party with English teammates. The English association first wanted to collect “further information” for risk assessment.
When choosing the DFB, careful attention is also paid to hygiene protection. Players, coaches and supervisors are tested several times. The entourage lives in isolation in a bubble. “We are very disciplined and stick to the rules,” says Oliver Bierhoff, director of DFB in Cologne. “That’s how we deal with the challenge of flying to Ukraine.” Stays are kept short and the hotel is only left on site for training and games. “Responsibility towards the clubs is very important to us”, Bierhoff assures.
For the new season, the DFL has adapted its medical and hygienic concept for the Bundesliga. There are now three pandemic levels, the measures are based on the infection level. There is also a guide for returning fans to the stadiums.
Both are “two fundamentally different things,” explains Meyer. When spectators return, it’s about infection protection at major local events, but the hygiene concept is about occupational safety for professional groups working at a match in the stadiums.
This shifts responsibilities. The decision whether fans are allowed to enter the stadium is not made by the DFL or the DFB, but by the local authorities. “We cannot dictate to local health authorities about major local events,” says Meyer. This also applied to the plan of the German Football Association to play against Turkey for the first time for a maximum of 9200 spectators.