Coronavirus: Bundesliga return decision delayed

The German government has not yet given the green light for the Bundesliga to resume and a decision is set to be made next Wednesday.

Bundesliga ball   -  Bongarts

The Bundesliga faced fresh uncertainty over its resumption on Thursday when the German government delayed a decision on when football can return.

Germany's top two divisions were suspended on March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic and league officials had hoped this week to get the green light to play games behind closed doors.

German Football League (DFL) chief executive Christian Seifert said last week the Bundesliga was ready to get back up and running from May 9, though he left the final decision in the hands of the government.

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It later emerged that May 16 was a likelier date for the restart, yet widespread reports in Germany have now said there will be no decision reached until next Wednesday, May 6.

The reports said the move to delay a verdict on the Bundesliga's return was taken in a meeting involving chancellor Angela Merkel and the minister-presidents of Germany's 16 states.

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Merkel and the state leaders are due to meet again next Wednesday, and the latest information, attributed by Die Welt and other newspapers to unnamed participants in the meeting, indicates there is no longer any prospect of a May 9 return to action.

FIFA medical chief Michel D'Hooghe this week urged leagues to resist returning to action, even behind closed doors, while the coronavirus remains such a threat to public health.

He suggested there should be no football until at least September.

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