Bun­desliga restart blow as Dres­den squad quar­an­tine

Kuwait Times - - Sports -

BERLIN: Dy­namo Dres­den placed their en­tire squad into a 14-day quar­an­tine on Satur­day, just a week from the restart of the Bun­desliga season, af­ter the club re­ported two more cases of coro­n­avirus. The de­ci­sion means that Dy­namo, who are bot­tom of the se­cond divi­sion, will not be able to play their fix­ture against Hanover next week­end.

The set­back comes just three days af­ter Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel’s gov­ern­ment gave the Ger­man Foot­ball League (DFL) the green light to re­turn to ac­tion on May 16 af­ter a two-month ab­sence.

“In the past few weeks, we have made an enor­mous ef­fort, both in terms of per­son­nel and lo­gis­tics, to strictly im­ple­ment all pre­scribed med­i­cal and hy­gienic mea­sures,” said Dres­den sport­ing direc­tor Ralf Minge.

“We are in con­tact with the re­spon­si­ble health au­thor­ity and the DFL. The fact is that we can­not train or par­tic­i­pate in games in the next 14 days.” As well as the play­ers, Dres­den will iso­late its en­tire coach­ing and su­per­vi­sory staff.

The Bun­desliga will be the first top Euro­pean league to restart matches since the out­break of the coro­n­avirus forced lock­down mea­sures to be im­posed across the con­ti­nent. How­ever, matches will be played with­out fans in at­ten­dance and with a max­i­mum num­ber of 300 peo­ple, in­clud­ing both teams, al­lowed at each game.

In the run-up to the restart, all teams must go into a one-week quar­an­tine train­ing camp. Af­ter the gov­ern­ment gave the go-ahead for the season to restart, there were still wor­ries that an out­break of the coro­n­avirus in the league could halt the re­sumed season, this time for good.

As of Thurs­day, there had been 10 pos­i­tive cases from 1,724 tests of play­ers and staff at the top 36 clubs in the first wave of test­ing and two more in the se­cond.

Dres­den, who are not al­lowed to train dur­ing their iso­la­tion, are due to face Greuther Fuerth in their next game on the week­end of May 23-24.

There is lit­tle wrig­gle room for more post­pone­ments as of­fi­cials want the season com­pleted by June 30. “Dy­namo Dres­den has in­formed the Ger­man Foot­ball League. We will de­ter­mine the fur­ther course of ac­tion with a view to the club’s plans at the begin­ning of next week,” a DFL spokesman told AFP sub­sidiary SID on Satur­day.

The head of the DFL has warned clubs they are “on pro­ba­tion” and must im­ple­ment strict hy­giene mea­sures when the Bun­desliga restarts next Satur­day. “Ev­ery­one must be clear: we are play­ing on pro­ba­tion,” DFL CEO Chris­tian Seifert said.

“I ex­pect ev­ery­one to live up to their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.” In the top flight, de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Bay­ern Mu­nich re­sume with a four-point lead over Borus­sia Dort­mund.

The Bun­desliga wants to com­plete the last nine rounds of matches be­fore June 30 to se­cure around 300 mil­lion eu­ros ($325 mil­lion) in tele­vi­sion money. — AFP

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