BERLIN - The Bundesliga breathed a sigh of relief on Monday
when Cologne reported no further coronavirus infections had been
found at the club after three positive tests last week.
Cologne said "the entire team, as well as the coaching and backroom
staff," underwent a second test for Covid-19 on Sunday and an
independent laboratory said they were all negative.
On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers will
again meet to discuss easing lockdown restrictions in Germany with
the possibility of resuming the Bundesliga again on the agenda.
Three people at Cologne - later revealed to be two players and a
physiotherapist - went into quarantine after testing positive on
The German football league (DFL) has created a safety and hygiene
concept as it hopes to return to action behind closed doors this
month. This includes regular testing and only players who have been
tested negatively twice in succession are allowed to train or play.
Cologne said they would continue to train in groups from Monday while
new Paderborn chief executive Fabian Wohlgemuth said they would
resume team training as soon as possible after the results of their
On Monday the DFL confirmed a report in Kicker magazine which said
it recommended clubs do not publish results of their own tests but
that a central announcement would be made.
While some clubs have issued their own statements or confirmed media
reports, Augsburg, Borussia Moenchengladbach and RB Leipzig have not
As part of the DFL concept for a return to football, it will not be
automatically released to the media if a player tests positive for
Meanwhile, football lawyer Horst Kletke does not believe players
could legally refuse to play out of fear of infection should
restrictions be lifted and matches behind closed doors approved to
complete the season.
"If there is no contact ban or other restrictions which ban training
or playing, the work must be done," he told the Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung paper.
However, players could not be forced to live in quarantine when
healthy between matches. "Especially in this point the voluntary
acceptance and agreement is needed, in work contracts there is no
Werder Bremen advisory board chief Marco Bode admitted that forcing
players to play was unrealistic even if legally possible.
"If we want to see games again in this Bundesliga season or in the
coming first half of next season, we need highly motivated
professionals who want to win in this situation just as much as
before," he told Radio Bremen.
"And you can't do that when you don't want to. From my point of view
we will never force anyone."