Fredie Fredd
by on May 7, 2020

Bundesliga to restart on May 16, including Dortmund vs Schalke derby.

The Bundesliga is getting ready to restart this month - so how is Germany planning to get back playing during the coronavirus pandemic?

The German government has now given approval to the German football league (DFB) to return to action on May 16, with the number of coronavirus-related deaths in the country falling to fewer than 100 a day at times last week.

But with restrictions still in place across Germany, how will the Bundesliga get back up to speed with the world looking on?

When will the season actually resume?

The season will resume on Saturday, May 16 with the Revierderby, the derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 at the Westfalonstadion, as decided by a meeting of clubs on Thursday.

Previously, there had been plans for a two-week quarantine period ahead of a resumption to ensure any players or staff suffering from coronavirus had recovered, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the country's testing capacity means this will not be necessary. "Testing is regular there, so the quarantine period is not set to 14 days," she said.

Will we pick up where we left off?

The Bundesliga was interrupted after the 25th matchday, so will pick up from where it left off - despite concerns about hosting the Dortmund-Schalke derby while coronavirus is still so prevalent, with the possibility of fan congregations leading to an increase in infections.

The Bundesliga will start again on Saturday May 16, with the Revierderby between Dortmund and Schalke...

Saturday, May 16

  • Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke
  • RB Leipzig vs Freiburg
  • Hoffenheim vs Hertha
  • Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Paderborn
  • Augsburg vs Wolfsburg
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Monchengladbach

Sunday May 17

  • Cologne vs Mainz
  • Union Berlin vs Bayern Munich

Monday May 18

  • Werder Bremen vs Bayer Leverkusen

How will the Bundesliga play catch-up after the delay?

The current plan is for the Bundesliga to play out its final nine games by June 30. Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert has announced that the top-flight season will aim to finish on Saturday June 27 with 2. Bundesliga culminating on June 28.

June 30 is not the ultimate deadline, but when some players' contracts are due to expire - which would make life more complicated if the season is still ongoing.

Midweek games are to played across two weeks in order to allow Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt to play their game in hand.

It has been reported the DFB have hopes to play the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal, the German FA Cup, by the end of June too - which would mean fitting 10 rounds of games into seven weeks, meaning three midweek rounds may be required to meet the end-of-June date.

How will the set-up work?

Much of the specifics are still to be announced and more detail will become apparent in the fallout from Thursday's meeting, but safe to say there will not be fans allowed into stadiums.

Players will be tested once a week, the day before games, or twice a week in the case of midweek games. If a player tests positive for coronavirus, they will be quarantined for 14 days along with anyone they have been in contact with - although it has been stressed this does not necessarily mean all of their team-mates will be quarantined too.

A maximum of 300 people will be allowed into each stadium, a maximum of 100 into the 'interior', 100 into the concourse and a further 100 around the perimeter.

It has been reported players will drive to home games rather than travel together, while people carriers will bring them in small groups to away matches It has also been reported clubs will be visited by medical professionals without warning to make sure they are observing guidelines, after Salomon Kalou was suspended for breaching protocol by Hertha Berlin last week.

What's the situation league-wise?

Unlike in England, it's relatively tightly poised at the top - Bayern Munich lead Borussia Dortmund by four points, with RB Leipzig one behind and Borussia Monchengladbach another behind them. Down at the bottom SC Paderborn are two points adrift, but 17th-placed Werder Bremen, in the second guaranteed relegation spot, are four behind Fortuna Dusseldorf, who occupy the relegation play-off spot in 16th.

Neville: Bundesliga can be 'live rehearsal' for England

Gary Neville told The Football Show the resumption of football in Germany would work as a strong marker for the Premier League about how best domestic football can get back up and running in England.

He said: "I'll be hopeful the Premier League are on their way over to Germany somehow, to see how it operates and understand how it goes, and be in consultation with the clubs' medical professionals and doctors over there, but I can't imagine they're not.

"Even a broadcast point of view, how the media works, I'm sure Sky will be talking with our colleagues in Germany about how we deliver this.

"There's a lot of intelligence you can pick up from Germany, while those players are in the early-phase, non-contact type programmes, the Bundesliga players will be in a different programme, tackling, heading, grappling for space, and that can be a live rehearsal for what happens in England."


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