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Bundesliga return pushed back by German government

The Bundesliga is ready to return on May 9, but they will have to wait a bit longer to get their season going again.

That May 9 date was subject to government approval, which has not come yet and will not come until at least May 6, when Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leaders of Germany’s federal states are scheduled to meet again. The delay means restarting next weekend is no longer possible.

“The DFL of course accepts that today no decision was made on the resumption of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2,” the DFL said in a statement on Twitter. Teams are still preparing as if the season will resume this month.

Clubs are training in small groups, but none of them have held a full team session yet. Many teams would like to have at least ten days of full training before returning to game action. The league has begun testing players for COVID-19 twice a week in an effort to keep all of them safe.

There are nine match weeks remaining in the season and the goal is to have them all played by the end of June to avoid legal trouble with player contracts and loan deals.

Returning to action does not seem to be a priority for local governments, who would like to get other services up and running before bringing back soccer.

“Playgrounds closed, Kindergartens closed, Bundesliga is back. It just doesn’t fit,” Brandenburg’s minister president Dietmar Woidke said in an interview on RBB Radio on Thursday. Other state officials have echoed that statement, providing quite the obstacle for the league to overcome if it wants to finish its season.

Elsewhere in Europe, France’s Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 officially cancelled the remainder of their seasons on Thursday, joining Belgium and the Netherlands. Leagues in England, Spain, and Italy are still hoping to resume play sometime this summer.


  1. The problem in Germany is the tug-of-war between the federal and the various Bundesländer governments. The prevailing thought though is still that the Bundesliga/B2 will be back before May ends. German efficiency being what it is, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen.
    Conversely, the Swiss government has tentative plans in place to re-open pro sports and recreational activities in less than two weeks. The Swiss Football Fed ended all amateur league seasons, but hopes to resume its top two divisions and the Swiss Cup in June.

  2. This seemed predictable I said last week May 9th was a negotiation tactic hoping to get May 16 or 23. Germany continues to drop their number of active cases by about 1500-2000 per day. If they can keep that rate going they’ll have virtually no cases by mid to late May. If Germany cancels all the major leagues will their country is the best positioned to play.

    • you’re giving them too much credit. as with france they are entirely at the disposal of the federal government. the teams are uber-capitalist islands in a socialist sea. they can posture all they want. the state will open when the state wants to open. after the examples of the CL and league games in Italy, i don’t think any western european country feels any leverage against it to reopen leagues any earlier than they think makes sense. maybe the idea was the fans would get excited about games and bring pressure to bear. i see no hint of that. my guess is games are months away.

      • We’re kind of saying the same thing, say May 9th knowing from the numbers that won’t happen but you start to build demand from fans and sponsors. That’s what will get this politicians to bend. If numbers in Germany keep going down they’ll be playing in June if they start rising it will be over.

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