Deutsche Welle (English edition)

COVID-19 rocks German football

With Germany continuing to struggle to take control of the third wave, the number of COVID-19 cases in German football are increasing. Some teams are in quarantine, and the end of season schedule is in chaos.


Whether Germany's women's national team, the Bundesliga, or the second division, a spate of COVID-19 cases have made life harder for many clubs and threatened chaos for the end-ofseason schedule.

In the German second division, three games were postponed over the second weekend in April because teams were in quarantine.

Karlsruhe, Sandhausen and Bundesliga hopefuls Holstein Kiel are all in isolation following multiple cases. Dynamo Dresden had to deal with the same situation almost a year ago, but the number of teams now struggling is a concern.

Karlsruhe were sent into a team quarantine until April 20 by local health authoritie­s, whereas Sandhausen cannot play until April 18.

For Kiel, who only recently returned to playing after a 14-day quarantine earlier in the year, the situation is perhaps even worse. After goalkeeper Ioannis Gelios and another player tested positive, the entire team and staff were sent into quarantine until April 20. Kiel will now have three games reschedule­d and, for the time being,are due to face Sandhausen just one day after their quarantine ends.

With both unable to train collective­ly, a sporting disadvanta­ge is a distinct possibilit­y.

Furthermor­e, Kiel face Borus

sia Dortmund in the German Cup semifinal on May 1. With the last day of the season falling on May 23 and the relegation/promotion playoff following just three days later, Kiel face a mammoth schedule.

Case concern

Elsewhere, Osnabrück's game against Braunschwe­ig nearly didn't happen after an unnamed Osnabrück player tested positive. After they were sent into quarantine, further tests before the game revealed negative results for everyone allowing the game to go ahead. Osnabrück lost 4-0. A similar situation happened with Hannover; they, too, lost their game.

Germany's women played Australia in Wiesbaden, but reported just hours before kick off that Felicitas Rauch had yielded a positive test. Teammates Lena Oberdorf, Sara Doorsoun and Svenja Huth also had to quarantine despite testing negative because of their close contact to Rauch.

Even the Bundesliga was affected. While Sergio Cordova was not part of Bielefeld's squad that won on Friday night against Freiburg, the club revealed on Saturday that he had tested positive and was in quarantine. Teammate Reinhold Yabo was also in quarantine, despite testing negative after having been in close contact with Cordova. Were an entire Bundesliga team to enter into team quarantine, finishing the end of the season on time would become a scheduling nightmare.

While the German Football League (DFL) originally stated that team quarantine "bubbles" were not necessary because of increased regulation­s in the hygiene concept, developmen­ts in the last week may well have changed the dynamic.

 ??  ?? German football may find it's out of time to schedule further games if case numbers keep growing
German football may find it's out of time to schedule further games if case numbers keep growing

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