The Chief Executive Officer of German Football League (DFL), Christian Seifert. AFP
Germany’s first and second division football clubs have said they are ready to allow some fans back into stadiums next season if the country’s government gives the green light later this month.
The Chief Executive Officer of German Football League (DFL), Christian Seifert, said the possibility of fans in stadiums depend solely on the approval of authorities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If and when fans will return to the stadiums is not a decision for the DFL but for the political leaders,” he said during a press conference on Tuesday.
“The DFL does not expect or demand anything but we are preparing to take this small step [with fans in stadiums] when the time comes.
“Priority is not full stadiums but the health situation. We should not take unnecessary risks but we should also not capitulate and just expect it to go away.”
Benfica’s German midfielder Julian Weigl (L) challenges Sporting’s Cape Verdean Jovane Cabral (R) during the Portuguese League football match between SL Benfica and Sporting CP at Luz stadium in Lisbon on July 25, 2020. PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP
The health ministers of the individual German states are due to meet next week to discuss the matter and the new Bundesliga season starts on September 18. The German Cup first round starts a week earlier.
Seifert said that if fans were allowed into stadiums there would be no visiting supporters at least until the end of the year to minimise the risk of infection, no standing tribunes and no alcohol sales.
The Bundesliga became the first major football league to restart its season in May after a two-month break, earning praise for its health and safety protocols that were subsequently adopted by other European leagues. The league season ended in empty stadiums in May and June.
The German government has banned all events with large crowds until October 31.
The country fears a second wave of infections and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased by 879 to 211,281.