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Bundesliga may resume next week as Europe returns to football

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Germany could be the first country to resume football in Europe, as other leagues look to next month to restart their competitions.

According to GulfNews, La Liga Santander and La Liga SmartBank – the first and second divisions of professional football in Spain – will start training alone following medical tests carried out by club staff.

The report said while Italy and Spain are yet to put a date to completion of their respective leagues, Germany appeared most well-prepared as their health minister backed the Bundesliga’s plan to resume in 10 days time with final approval on the league’s return due today.

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Most of the players have rejoined their clubs ahead of the decision to restart the games, either behind closed doors or with a specified number of fans.

Serie A sides returned to individual training on Monday and “it is hoped that fixtures could resume between May 27 and June 2 – with an end date for the season of early August. However, no formal date has been announced for the resumption of the league, even before empty stands,” the report added.

Spain also allowed basic training to resume on Monday after the government watered down some of the lockdown measures that had been imposed since mid-March.

“This return to training has been planned by La Liga with measures that have been agreed with the relevant sports and health authorities in order to guarantee as much safety as possible for the health of all those involved,” it said, adding that the measures cover a period of “approximately four weeks with different phases that, in any case, will be subject to the de-escalation process established by the government.”

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The German Football League (DFL) hopes to get the go-ahead today to restart the season from May 15 when Chancellor Angela Merkel’s meets the 16 state leaders via a conference call.

There were a few last-minute worrying notes though when on Monday, testing of players, coaches and backroom staff produced 10 positive cases, three of which came from top-flight side Cologne.
Germany ready to allow Bundesliga matches to resume from May 15, as Hungary confirms restart from May 23.

According to independent.ie, Germany’s state premiers are expected to give the green light for large shops to reopen, probably from May 11, sources said.

At the same time, state premiers will allow outdoor sports for non-professionals and children, sources added.

The Hungarian professional football season, suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak since mid-March, will re-start on May 23 with two Cup ties and a league game, the country’s football federation (MLSZ) said.

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However, the lower divisions would conclude immediately as would all futsal, amateur and junior league seasons, it said in a statement.

The announcement means that Hungary is one of a handful of European countries to confirm a start date for the resumption of the season alongside Poland (May 29) and Portugal (May 30).

The country has so far reported 3,051 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 351 deaths, a relatively modest number due mainly to an early and strict lockdown.

Meanwhile, England’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chief executive Gordon Taylor has raised the possibility that halves may be shorter than 45 minutes as discussions continue about the Premier League’s return.

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English top-flight clubs underlined their commitment to restarting the 2019/20 season on Friday, but said, “it was agreed that the PFA, LMA, players and managers are key to this process and will be further consulted”.

Welfare and wellbeing of individuals returning to work is key and Taylor will pore over the plans as the Premier League looks to resume in mid-June.

“They’re not stupid,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “They will put safety first.

“There is a protocol being put together that is going to be presented, involving all medical experts and Government medical experts.

It said the Premier League and the EFL are not considering the idea.

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