FOOTBALL

Austria Bundesliga action set to resume on 2 June

Matches in the Austrian league will resume on 2 June, holding games every three days to clear the backlog built up during the coronavirus lockdown.

Austria Bundesliga action set to resume on 2 June
Lisi Niesner REUTERS

Austria's Bundesliga, the country's professional football league, is set to return on 2 June and hold matches every three days to clear the backlog built up during the coronavirus lockdown, the league's Chief Executive Christian Ebenbauer confirmed on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the government gave the green light for the league to resume without spectators and following a meeting of clubs on Wednesday Ebenbauer said it would restart four days after the Austrian Cup final on 29 May. "Today is a good day," Ebenbauer said in a video statement. "I am glad to announce that under the current status quo and if things remain as they are soccer will return to the pitch on 29 May. We are proud and aware of the responsibility. There is no compromising health. The challenges remain, both organisational and financial. Matches without fans are an emergency plan and no future solution for football."

Austrian teams back training

The top-flight teams returned to training on 20 April, with players divided into small groups. full training is due to resume on 15 May, and players will be tested before each match. To get through the fixture schedule by the first week of July, matches will be held every three days.

There are still 10 matchdays left to play in the championship where the 12 teams have been split into two groups -- the championship group, consisting of teams who finished the regular season in the top six, and the relegation group, involving the bottom six teams.

LASK Linz, aiming to win the title for only the second time and the first since 1965, lead the championship group by three points from titleholders Salzburg with Rapid Vienna a further four behind. St Poelten are bottom of the relegation group. Salzburg face second division Austria Lustenau in the Cup final.