German football clubs agree plans to allow fans to return next month

first_img“When and how many spectators are allowed to return to the stadiums is not a decision for the DFL to make.”The league’s plans for fans to return has been the subject of debate among politicians and virologists in Germany.Several fan groups have also criticized the plans, fearing long-term restrictions of their rights.However, the league insists any changes would only be temporary while the pandemic continues to be a factor.Seifert says the rate of infection must be taken into account and “should by no means be underestimated”.”Professional football can only return to normality in stages,” he added.”We will have to regain normality in small steps. We cannot go from zero to 100.”After a two-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the final nine rounds of last season’s Bundesliga matches were completed behind closed doors in late June.Amid tight hygiene measures, Germany was the first country to restart its league season which paved the way for other top European leagues to follow suit.However, Bundesliga clubs lose millions of euros in match day revenue for each game played in front of empty stands and are eager to welcome fans back.For example, Borussia Dortmund, who finished second to champions Bayern Munich last season, are planning to have up to 15,000 fans for home games next season.On a typical match day in Dortmund, over 81,000 spectators would fill Signal Iduna Park.However, Seifert said even a figure of 10,000 at matches would be hard to justify with large events banned in Germany until October 31.”Nobody at the DFL will require a specific number of fans,” he said. Football clubs in Germany’s top two divisions on Tuesday agreed to plans drawn up by the league which could allow the partial return of fans to stadiums from mid-September, despite the coronavirus pandemic.Under the plans proposed by the German Football League (DFL) for the new season, which starts on September 18, the clubs agreed on four key points.Fans would only be allowed to sit, tickets would be personalized so spectators could be traced, alcohol at matches would be banned until October and there will be no away fans until the end of the year. The plan is however subject to approval by German authorities, with health ministers of the country’s 16 states to meet on Monday over the issue.Germany has recorded 211,281 cases and 9,156 deaths due to the coronavirus, and in April began easing curbs imposed to halt transmission. But fears are growing over a second wave as daily number of new infections was steadily climbing again, in recent weeks hitting levels not seen since May.”The priority in Germany at the moment is not full stadiums, but people’s health,” said Christian Seifert, chief executive of the Bundesliga after a virtual meeting of the clubs.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Rooney handed captain’s armband

first_img Press Association Wayne Rooney has been named Manchester United captain by manager Louis van Gaal, the club have announced. Van Gaal has been impressed with the England striker’s approach since taking over at Old Trafford earlier this summer and believes he will give his heart and soul to his new role. “For me, it’s always very important, the choice of captain,” the Dutchman said in quotes posted on United’s website after Tuesday evening’s 2-1 pre-season friendly win over Valencia. center_img “Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does. I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy. He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role.” Rooney spoke earlier this year of his ambition to skipper both United and England. Nemanja Vidic’s departure to Inter Milan and Steven Gerrard’s international retirement have opened up the possibility that both could now become a reality for the 28-year-old. “It is a huge honour for me – and for my family – to be named captain of this great club,” the former Everton forward said. “It is a role I will perform with great pride. Team spirit has always been very high in our dressing room and I am very grateful to the manager for the faith he has shown in me. “I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season.” Darren Fletcher has been appointed United vice-captain, with Van Gaal acclaiming the Scot as a “natural leader”. “I am delighted to have been named as vice-captain,” Fletcher said. “It’s a very proud moment for me and my family. Wayne and I have always worked well together and we will continue to work closely together in our new roles. I would like to thank the manager for putting his trust in me.” Van Gaal added: “Darren is a natural leader and will captain the team when Wayne isn’t playing. Darren is a very experienced player and a very popular member of the dressing room, I know he will work well alongside Wayne.” last_img read more