Berlin (dpa) – Ghost matches in the Bundesliga, amateur stoppage: German sport is hit hard by tightening corona measures by federal and state governments.
Given the increasing number of infections, professional football should only be allowed to play without spectators in November and leisure and amateur sports should largely be banned. The German news agency has learned this from the talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the prime ministers.
The 36 clubs in the German football league do not have to fully adapt to a new situation: in recent weeks, due to the increasing number of infections, there have been numerous matches with no or only a few hundred spectators. On Wednesday, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Schalke 04 announced that no fans would be admitted this weekend.
Thanks to an extensive hygiene concept, professional football was able to resume matches with ghost matches last spring. For the current season, the DFL, like all sports, has been given the green light by politicians to use at least 20 percent of the stadium’s total capacity. This could only be used in very few cases.
Several Bundesliga officials recently stressed that ghost games are the minimum for the clubs’ economic survival. “If we don’t have them anymore, it will be very tight,” said Hans-Joachim Watzke, general manager of Borussia Dortmund at ZDF. In the other professional leagues, on the other hand, it already looks bleak.
In basketball, handball, ice hockey or volleyball, the clubs are much more dependent on the income of the spectators. “From our point of view, there are no technical and hygienic reasons for this,” Stefan Holz, the general manager of the basketball league, said Wednesday of the German news agency. “We are asked to have hygiene concepts that we spend a lot of money on and work with proven experts. And although the testing phase has shown that the concepts work, they are turning things around. That’s bitter.”
The BBL boss added, “But now we are waiting for the exact decisions. Maybe there is something else in the fine print that allows for exceptions.” He is happy that the competitions can at least play without spectators. “That’s why my emotional state fluctuates between frustration and relief,” said Holz. The BBL wants to start its new season on November 6.
The effects on amateur sports are likely to be extreme. Fitness studios, swimming pools and fun pools are closed. The company is closed, clubs are no longer allowed to train. Individual sports, such as jogging alone, are still allowed. Alfons Hörmann, president of the German Olympic Sports Federation, had hoped on Tuesday for a ‘certain instinct’ of politics.
“From the 90,000 clubs as the unique” social service station network “in Germany to top sport, all those responsible are extraordinarily disciplined and exemplary in dealing with the pandemic,” he said. In the “difficult phase now before us, sport can and will remain part of the solution, not of the problem”. The federal and state governments have apparently not followed this reasoning.