New Delhi: Germany’s football league Bundesliga will return to action this weekend (16 and 17 May). It is the first major football tournament to resume matches since the coronavirus outbreak, though the event will take place with a few riders.
Less than 300 people will be allowed in the stadiums (including players, coaches, officials, and media personnel). No visitors will be let in, but football club Borussia Monchengladbac has announced that it will place 12,000 cardboard cutouts of people on the stadium stands of Borussia Park. Supporters of the football club have paid 19 euros each (approximately Rs 1,500) to install a cardboard version of themselves in the stands.
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Aside from having no visitors, any celebratory contact between players such as high-fives or hugs are also not allowed.
Munich-based hack-CARE has developed an app called Myapplause which will let close to 3.5 lakh fans in every match to react from their sofas. Viktor Mraz, the app developer, said, “You press a button and it will be as though the whole stadium is cheering.”
Precautions before the league
The German Football League (DFL) announced Monday that it had conducted 1,724 tests on players and staff, out of which 10 tested positive for Covid-19. The positive tests will be treated as regular injuries with a two-week’s absence.
All players and staff are being tested twice a week. On match days, players will also be tested a day before. They are taking two kinds of tests — nose and throat swabs to prevent any false results, and antibody tests.
A week prior to the league, all players were sent on a seven-day training camp and isolation from 8 May. The Bundesliga league will return after a two-month hiatus due to the coronavirus crisis.
Covid-19 has infected more than 1.7 lakh people in Germany and resulted in close to 8,000 deaths.