BUNDESLIGA

Coronavirus: Germany's Bundesliga to resume this month

German chancellor Angela Merkel has cleared a May resumption for the Bundesliga, leaving it set to become the first of Europe's major leagues to return.

Coronavirus: Bundesliga to resume this month

Germany's Bundesliga is set to resume this month after plans to return to action were given the green light by the country's government.

On Wednesday, chancellor Angela Merkel cleared the competition to resume in May.

"We talked about the Bundesliga, which from the second half of May will again be able to run the game under the approved and indeed tested rules," she said at a news conference.

Bundesliga return dates of 16 or 23 May both feasible

It means Germany's top flight is on course to be the first major European league to make its return during the coronavirus pandemic, with a resumption on the weekends of either 16 May or 23 May both seemingly feasible.

The Bundesliga has been halted since 13 March, with nine rounds of matches still to be completed.

Games will be played behind closed doors

All large gatherings in Germany have been banned until 31 August, meaning there is no possibility of opening up stadiums to supporters and games will be played behind closed doors.

The German Football League (DFL) is due to meet on Thursday, when it is expected to formalise its plans.

"Today's decision is good news for the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga," DFL CEO Christian Seifert said. 

"It is associated with a great responsibility for the clubs and their employees to implement the medical and organisational requirements in a disciplined manner.

"Games without stadium spectators are not an ideal solution for anyone. In a crisis threatening the very existence of some clubs, however, it is the only way to keep the leagues in their current form.

"On this day, I would like to thank the political decision-makers from the federal and state governments for their trust."

A resumption will mean games can be televised again, protecting vital streams of broadcast revenue.

Last month the DFL's executive committee said: "We do not want an economic crisis to lead to structural damage that could be irreparable and radically change the face of German professional football."

Bayern Munich sit four points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga after 25 rounds of matches.

The next scheduled fixture list included the Revierderby between Dortmund and Schalke.