Bundesliga proposes suspension after weekend

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Hoffenheim-Bayern Bundesliga 2019-20

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13/03/2020 at 13:47 | Updated 13/03/2020 at 15:07

Germany's Bundesliga, the only one of the big five European soccer leagues still being played amid the coronavirus outbreak, could also be suspended from next Tuesday following a proposal from its executive committee.

"The German Football League (DFL) executive committee will propose to a general assembly next Monday that the games of both leagues (the Bundesliga and the second tier Bundesliga 2) be suspended from Tuesday up to and including 2 April," the DFL said in a statement.

"The goal is still to finish the season by the summer - from a sporting point of view, but especially because an early end to the season could have consequences that could threaten the existence of some clubs."


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Monday's match between Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen, which was due to be played without spectators, was called off over concerns that fans could congregate outside the stadium as they have done at several European games this week.

Eight matches are due to be played between Friday and Sunday including the Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.

Paderborn, who were due to visit Fortuna Duesseldorf on Friday, said that coach Stefan Baumgart had undergone a test for coronavirus after displaying symptoms of the disease.

Thiago Alcántara (FC Bayern München)

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"We are waiting for results over the course of the afternoon," the club said on Twitter.

Werder Bremen said their match had been postponed on the orders of the city government. It quoted Bremen's mayor Andreas Bovenschulte as saying that "around 2,000 to 3,000 fans are expected to attend the match in front of the stadium" which would break a ban on gatherings of over 1,000 people.

The DFL appealed to fans not to gather outside stadiums at the other matches. The problem happened at a number of European club matches played behind closed doors this week, including Valencia, Paris St Germain and Olympiakos.

Bayern midfielder Thiago Alcantara criticised the decision to carry on playing at the weekend.

"This is crazy. Please stop fooling around and land on reality," he said on Twitter. "Let's be honest, there are much more important priorities than any sport."

His own chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge disagreed and said it was right to play at the weekend.

"At the end of the day, professional football is all about finances," he told reporters. "There is still a large payment due from TV broadcasters. If that payment were not forthcoming, many small and middle-sized clubs would have financial problems."

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