Bundesliga ready to start on May 9 but still need government approval

The Bundesliga has been given the green light by the German Football Federation to return on May 9 if the government decide it is safe to do so.

Restrictions are already being lifted in Germany with regards to the coronavirus crisis, and they are now weeks ahead of the UK in terms of bouncing back from the pandemic.

Now plans are afoot for the nation's football to get back underway in just two weeks' time, but with a string of safety measures in place.

First and foremost all 1,100 players and staff from across the two leagues must be tested using some of the 25,000 testing kits that are due to be bought at a cost of £90 a time.

More stringent measures include: the installation of pitch-side sinks; players washing their own kit; and no pre-match handshakes, team photos or mascots.

Matches will be practically behind closed doors, with a maximum of 322 people allowed in and around a stadium for top-flight fixtures, and just 270 for matches in Bundesliga 2.

Of those, only 98 will be allowed inside the inner workings of the stadium, with a further 115 in the stands and 109 outside the stadium.

Every person entering the stadium will be required to undergo a temperature check using ear thermometers, and some of those will have to wear face masks.

In addition, all press conference will be completed virtually to reduce the amount of people inside the stadiums.

Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert said: "The Bundesliga is ready to resume, no matter whether on May 9 or a later date.

"But it's not up to us to find a date. The political decision makers decide. We have not defined an exact date today.

"The fact that we are even able to think about resuming games underlines the performance of the German authorities.

"It would be presumptuous for the DFL to name an exact date for the restart."

The testing kits will set the Bundesliga back over £2million, and a return is still dependant on the agreement of the government and all federal states.

Chancellor Angela Merkel poured fresh doubt on a May 9 resumption date however, after declaring Germany was in lockdown 'for the long haul', just hours prior to the Bundesliga announcement.

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