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Bundesliga given approval for mid-May resumption

The German Bundesliga will be the first European top flight football league to make a return amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, German chancellor Angela Merkel gave the green light for matches to be played behind closed doors from May 16 at the earliest. Representatives from the 36 clubs in the top two divisions will meet today to discuss the resumption of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2.

Christian Seifert, the managing director of the German Football League (DFL), said: “Today’s decision is good news for the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga. It is associated with a great responsibility for the clubs and their employees to implement the medical and organisational requirements in a disciplined manner.

“Games behind closed doors are not an ideal solution for anyone. In a crisis threatening the very existence of some clubs, however, it is the only way to keep the leagues in their current form. On this day, I would like to thank the political decision-makers from the federal and state governments for their trust.”

The DFL has allowed clubs to train for a month under strict coronavirus testing, with 1,724 carried out so far and 10 positive tests.

Meanwhile, the English Premier League will meet on Monday following an expected relaxation of lockdown rules from prime minister Boris Johnson on Sunday, while Spain’s La Liga is also plotting a return for mid-June.

Lower tiered competitions are also getting ready to resume, with fixtures in Croatia and Serbia scheduled to take place from May 30, while Korea’s K League will restart on Friday, May 8.