General view as the players from both teams and officials line up on the pitch before the match that will be played behind closed doors while the number of coronavirus cases grow around the world. March 11, 2020. Picture: REUTERS/WOLFGANG RATTAY
General view as the players from both teams and officials line up on the pitch before the match that will be played behind closed doors while the number of coronavirus cases grow around the world. March 11, 2020. Picture: REUTERS/WOLFGANG RATTAY

Frankfurt — Germany’s first- and second-division football clubs said on Tuesday that they were prepared to allow some fans back into stadiums next season if the country’s political authorities gave the green light later in August.

German Football League CEO Christian Seifert said the possibility of fans in stadiums depended solely on the political leaders giving the go-ahead.

“If and when fans will return to the stadiums is not a decision for the DFL [German Football League] but for the political leaders,” Seifert told reporters. “The DFL does not expect or demand anything, but we are preparing to take this small step [with fans in stadiums] when the time comes.”

The health ministers of the individual German states are due to meet next week and the new Bundesliga season starts on September 18.

“Professional football can come back only in steps. There is no magic switch for politicians to give the green light for full stadiums. That will happen in steps,” Seifert said. “We will have to reclaim normality in small steps.”

He said that if fans were allowed into stadiums there would be no visiting supporters at least until the end of the year, no standing tribunes and no liquor sold.

“No-one at the DFL will demand a specific number of fans. That would be irresponsible,” said Seifert.

The German government has banned all events with large crowds until October 31.

Germany is fearing a second wave of infections. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 879 to 211,281, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases. The reported death toll rose by eight to 9,156.

Reuters

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