Game for spectators: Union test with fans

Berlin (dpa) – Professional football has moved forward and is creating facts – while politicians are still struggling hard for a nationwide scheme to allow fans into stadiums.

A week before the start of the league match, Bundesliga club 1. FC Union Berlin not only won 2-1 of 1. FC Nürnberg on Saturday. Union chairman Dirk Zingler previously celebrated the approved partial opening of the arena to 4,500 spectators, especially as a signal effect event.

“I hope this is a prelude to rethinking that both are possible: infection protection and events,” he told the “kicker.” “We have proven that it is possible in the smallest Bundesliga stadium.” He would like to see this possible with spectators at other Bundesliga venues with hygiene measures. “We have to send positive signals and not always signs of limitations,” Zingler stressed.

RB Leipzig with a maximum of 8,500 spectators and Hertha BSC with about 4,000 fans also want to demonstrate this during the first Bundesliga home matches. After all, the Berlin health department Treptow-Köpenick praised the pilot game it approved as a success. “The 1. FC Union has implemented the hygiene-related requirements excellently,” explained the responsible speaker.

For Zingler, it wasn’t just a major football event in the Corona crisis. “We have to live even with the virus,” he said. That’s why it’s important to restore people’s trust. “We gave people space, and they acted very responsibly,” said Zingler. “We need to do that more in society: give people confidence and responsibility so that they can behave sensibly during the pandemic.”

But even before the Union game, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) criticized the spectator “patchwork” in professional football. He would very much have liked “that we would have a common approach for the start in the Bundesliga at the end of October,” Spahn said on Saturday during a performance with the Chairman of State Ministers of Health, Berlin Senator Dilek Kalayci (SPD), in Berlin. .

Spahn stressed that a coordinated approach in football makes sense. “I think a unified approach would be better for overall adoption.” At the same time, however, the situation is as it is. The local authorities decide on their own responsibility. He hoped that everyone – authorities and clubs alike – realized “that this comes with a high level of responsibility, that the risk of contamination remains minimized. If successful, it could also set an example for other areas.”

The Prime Minister of Lower Saxony, Stephan Weil, spoke out against continuing a different approach to the return of fans to the sports arenas. The SPD politician demanded a common line in the Spiegel, just like the Prime Minister of Bavaria Markus Söder (CSU) and the Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann (Greens). “A nationwide approach would be extremely smart – not just in professional sports,” said Weil.

In view of RB Leipzig’s approved plan to play for up to 8,500 spectators for the Bundesliga start in mid-September, Weil criticized his Saxon colleague Michael Kretschmer (CDU). “Maybe you should ask Mr. Kretschmer why the state of Saxony thinks it should run forward like that,” he said.

Weil was referring to the Prime Minister’s round decision at the conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) that a working group should develop proposals. He held out a resolution ahead of the target date of October 31.

DFB chief physician Tim Meyer would like to see national regulations in some places in the debate. “Because not all existing differences can be explained by regionally different infection rates,” said Meyer in an interview with the newspaper “Die Welt” (Saturday). As head of a task force, he was partly responsible for the hygiene concept that ended the previous season of the Bundesliga and 2nd division after a Corona break.

Return to normal will depend to a large extent on vaccine development and widespread vaccination. “Therefore, I cannot imagine at the moment that 2020 will be without restrictions,” said the doctor who works in Saarbrücken. He also believes in trial and error, Meyer said.

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