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.