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DFL planning to bring fans back into stadiums

John Silk with dpa
July 5, 2020

Fans haven't been allowed to attend games since the Bundesliga was suspended in March. It restarted in May but without supporters. The new proposals will have to follow strict guidelines, such as reduced capacity.

Gladbach players warm up in front of cardboard cutouts of fans
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Meissner

Allowing fans to attend Bundesliga matches moved a step closer to becoming a reality on Sunday under new proposals announced by the head of the German Football League (DFL).

The DFL is working on a plan together with the Health Ministry, DFL chief Christian Seifert told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. He said that "establishing normal operations will be the next big challenge."

Mass gatherings remain prohibited in Germany until at least October 31, unless every person in attendance can be traced. Seifert said options are being explored on this basis, with the next season due to start in mid-September.

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"We are working on such guidelines, there are first ideas which we are exchanging with the Health Ministry," Seifert said.

He said it doesn't matter "whether you bring 200 people into a theater or 5,000 into the Dortmund stadium you will always have to find individual solutions, based on the infrastructure and possibly the epidemiological situation in the area as well."

Seifert added: "We will have to learn to incorporate uncertainty into our considerations. We just have to stop feeling unsafe — otherwise it will be difficult in Germany."

German football was brought to a halt in the middle of March as the global pandemic tore through Europe. The season was resumed two months later, albeit without fans in attendance.

John Silk Editor and writer for English news, as well as the Culture and Asia Desks.@JSilk