Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – winter break – that was: bored football fans watching darts and ski jumping on television, and even tobogganing if necessary.
At some point, finally, you test Bundesliga club matches on private channels, because there aren’t even any indoor tournaments anymore. That was also: Clubs are annoyed by Brazilian football professionals who are late, get tanned and come back from the beaches with a few pounds too much. Everything is different in the Corona year: time out is limited to a few days off around Christmas.
With the international calendar full of pick packs, the kickers have to live in the Corona crisis, so there is only a breather between the football year 2020 and 2021. The day before Christmas Eve there are DFB Cup matches, on January 2 the competition continues -Football. Extensive preparation? Training camp abroad? Everything is wasted.
“In general, Christmas is going to be exciting, not only with regard to football. The boys know the responsibility they currently have to keep the game going,” said Jochen Saier, sports director of SC Freiburg, who gives his professionals guidance and makes individual arrangements. . Has.
“Of course you can’t really go down there,” said Augsburg coach Heiko Herrlich. His colleague from Hoffenheim, Sebastian Hoeneß, recently stated in a press conference that his players were not free. Not everyone immediately realized that it was a joke. Because the clubs start training again almost immediately after the holiday.
Instagram stories of laid-back footballers on yachts or in deck chairs will hardly be seen this winter. Only short journeys are possible. However, Werder director Frank Baumann gave the motto: “We don’t want to travel abroad where the players have to be quarantined afterwards. The clear requirement is that everyone obeys the rules. Bremen is also very beautiful at Christmas, so almost all players will also spend Christmas in Bremen. “
Hertha BSC’s foreign professionals will also have to plan their short Christmas break to Berlin. “It’s not fun, but the whole population feels that way. We are part of it and have to adapt,” said head coach Bruno Labbadia. The German Hertha players are allowed to travel within Germany, but must be back in the capital by December 26.
At Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said: “Until now: if you travel back to North Rhine-Westphalia, there is no obligation to go into quarantine. In this respect, there is nothing against Erling Haaland visiting or visiting his family in Norway at Christmas. that Jadon Sancho is visiting his family in England. “
Quarantine regulations vary from state to state, often even health authority to health authority, and so do the admission requirements in other countries. RB Leipzig has given its professionals a degree of flexibility. “There is a special agreement with the health service that you can go away for more than two days,” said coach Julian Nagelsmann. “In addition to the negative tests, players who come from abroad must go into quarantine together in our training center and can only return to their apartment after a few days.”
Nagelsmann expects his players back on December 28 – team training is only possible after a second negative test, 48 hours later. The mandatory tests by the German football league severely limit travel plans. In the first and second divisions, two PCR tests must be performed within a week of no play, with an interval of no more than five days. For clubs interrupting training for more than five days, two negative tests at least 24 hours apart are required for the first team practice.
All this, according to the second division coach Robert Klauß of Nuremberg, is “the biggest challenge for all teams this year: how do I design the tests so that the players still have free time because the tests have to take place on the spot.”
FC Bayern Munich has also re-made its stars aware of the pandemic’s requirements when it comes to holiday planning. “The players know, we stick to the rules and regulations that exist. There are no exceptions for us,” said coach Hansi Flick.
A look into history could comfort today’s professionals: the winter break was not introduced until 1986/87. And there were actually already two games in the upper house on New Year’s Eve: in 1964 the 1-1 between 1. FC Nürnberg and VfB Stuttgart and a year later the 0-2 between Tasmania 1900 Berlin and Eintracht Braunschweig.