The thing will not happen in France, where the government has decided to stop the 2019-2020 sports season permanently due to the covid-19 epidemic. But in Germany, the football championship, interrupted on March 31, resumes this Saturday, May 16.
Risky and unpopular – 56% of Germans were against it according to a survey reported by AFP -, this recovery will be a test and could influence the decisions of the three other major European championships (England, Italy, Spain) who are still considering end the season.
In camera and drastic rules
The competition is scheduled to end on June 27. Provided that the possible quarantine of clubs, in the event of patients with coronavirus, does not oblige to postpone matches. The Bundesliga wanted the takeover for sporting but above all economic reasons: the broadcasting of the matches will bring clubs 300 million euros in television rights, allowing some of them to avoid bankruptcy.
To be able to resume, the German clubs agreed to submit to regular tests, and to drastic precautions on the field: no pre-match protocol, no collective effusions to celebrate the goals … And above all, no public . The matches will indeed take place behind closed doors, with a maximum of 300 people authorized within the stadium, including players, referees, journalists and cameramen. A test for the fans and for the players, accustomed to the fervor of very full audiences, in this country where the average crowd in the stadiums amounts to nearly 45,000 spectators, double that of France.
“The whole world is looking towards us”
The German takeover, marked by the prestigious “Ruhr derby” pitting Borussia Dortmund against its rival Schalke 04, will in any case be scrutinized by all of sports Europe. It will act as a test to know whether professional sport can live again despite the virus. “We bear a gigantic responsibility”, has recognized, Friday, May 15, the CEO of Borussia Dortmund, Hans-Joachim Watzke. “The whole world is now looking towards us”, abounded Bayern Munich coach Hansi Flick. “It can be a signal for all the other leagues and it can allow the sport to resume everywhere (…). We have a very important role as an example. “