Bun­desliga fans back in sta­di­ums but track­ing virus stats SOC­CER

Arab Times - - SPORTS -

DÜS­SEL­DORF, Ger­many, Sept 24, (AP): There’s a new stat grab­bing Bun­desliga fans’ at­ten­tion. It’s not ex­pected goals, dis­tance run or passing ac­cu­racy, but the coro­n­avirus in­fec­tion rate.

The re­turn of fans to the Ger­man soc­cer league last week came with a catch. If there are too many in­fec­tions in the host city, a cir­cuit-breaker rule kicks in and fans are banned again. That’s caus­ing chaos for clubs.

Schalke fans face un­cer­tainty over whether they can at­tend the first home game of the sea­son Satur­day against Werder Bre­men. The club could oth­er­wise have al­lowed in as many as 12,000 sup­port­ers, but the in­fec­tion rate re­mains above the cir­cuit-breaker level de­spite a slight drop Thurs­day.

Last week, high in­fec­tion rates stopped Bay­ern Mu­nich from host­ing fans against Schalke in the sea­son opener af­ter the mayor said it would send the wrong mes­sage.

Less than 24 hours be­fore Cologne was due to host Hof­fen­heim in front of fans, the cir­cuit breaker kicked in there too. An hour’s travel away, Borus­sia Dort­mund hosted 9,300 fans for its 3-0 win over Borus­sia Mönchengla­d­bach.

The magic num­ber is 35 new cases per 100,000 in­hab­i­tants over a sev­en­day pe­riod. Any higher, and games should be held with­out fans. Schalke’s home city of Gelsenkirc­hen was at 39.1 on Wed­nes­day and 37.6 on Thurs­day ac­cord­ing to the Robert Koch In­sti­tute, Ger­many’s na­tional disease con­trol cen­ter.

The cir­cuit breaker rule was a com­pro­mise added dur­ing tense talks be­tween state politi­cians last week, just be­fore the league sea­son be­gan. Oth­er­wise, sup­port­ers are al­lowed to at­tend up to 20% of the sta­dium ca­pac­ity, though some lo­cal of­fi­cials have set their own, lower lim­its.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.