Only a few workers stand on the pitch of the empty stadium of German Bundesliga soccer club Borussia Moenchengladbach in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Thursday, April 16, 2020. All major events in Germany are suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak until the end of August, the German Bundesliga suspended all matches until April 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Only a few workers stand on the pitch of the empty stadium of German Bundesliga soccer club Borussia Moenchengladbach in Moenchengladbach, Germany, Thursday, April 16, 2020. All major events in Germany are suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak until the end of August, the German Bundesliga suspended all matches until April 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Germany's plan for football return is blueprint for Premier League

By James Sharpe Time of article published Apr 26, 2020

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Football could be coming back. Fans and players in England will be holding their breath as Germany’s Bundesliga aims to restart on May 9.

A document released by the German football federation has mapped out how the game can return safely amid the coronavirus crisis, how players will train and play matches as well as what happens if someone contracts Covid-19 before the season is finished.

Players can live either in team hotels or at home but sex and kissing is banned if they or their partners show symptoms of the virus. Stadiums will allow a maximum of 300 people at one time, including only four policemen, 10 journalists, four ball boys, eight groundsmen and 50 security staff.

If it works in Germany, then it will give a huge push to the return of live football in England.

HOW PLAYERS CAN TRAIN

* Whole team tested before first training session, then twice a week until the end of the season, one of which is just before a match.

* Players should stagger their arrival at training and text the hygiene officer to confirm they are clear of symptoms.

* Contact training should be minimised with team meetings held in big rooms and only for ‘compelling reasons’, with players keeping two metres apart.

* No eating in the kitchen. Food must be taken away. Players encouraged to shower and change at home. They must put their own kit and boots into the washing machine.

WHO YOU CAN WATCH

* If the Bundesliga resumes on May 9 with the fixtures which were originally scheduled for that day, it would feature a real blockbuster between third-placed Leipzig and the side immediately above them, Borussia Dortmund.

That means a showdown between two of the German top-flight’s superstars, Dortmund’s England ace Jadon Sancho and Liverpool target Timo Werner.

And fans starved of live action will have plenty more big names to admire as the first of Europe’s big leagues returns.

* Robert Lewandowski — Bayern Munich’s in-form hot shot, has one hand on the Golden Boot with 25 goals to his name already.

* Erling Haaland — the Norwegian teen sensation has bagged nine goals in eight games since joining Dortmund in January.

* Thomas Muller — the evergreen Bayern World Cup winner is this season’s assist king with 16 to his name so far.

HOW PLAYERS CAN PLAY

* Teams should arrive on several buses to help increase distance, and/or wear face masks. Buses disinfected before entering the stadium. Each team should arrive and leave at a different time. For home games, players should arrive in their own cars.

* Body temperature taken on arrival with ear thermometers. Each room disinfected. Doors to be left open with no touching of handles.

* Starting line-ups and subs should change in different facilities and warm up separately. Time spent in the dressing-room kept to a minimum with two-metre social distancing imposed. Players to shower individually.

* Food to be prepared in advance by team chef. Players to use only personalised drinks bottles.

* Private conversations must be avoided to maintain distancing — no whispering!

* Teams will not be in the tunnel at the same time. No player escorts, no mascots, no team photos, no handshakes, teams not standing alongside each other.

* Substitutes on the bench to sit two or three seats apart with some seated up in the stands if needed.

* Post-match interviews kept to a minimum. No mixed zone.

WHERE PLAYERS CAN LIVE

At a hotel

* Teams should either have their own hotel or have their own floor, with their own entrance and elevator, to avoid contact with other hotel visitors and maintaining two-metre distancing between each other. Lift buttons to be pressed with elbows.

* Not allowed to use the bar. No room service.

* Masks to be worn outside their own room with no cleaning of the rooms while the team is in the hotel.

At their home

* Players will stay inside as much as possible, receive few visitors, and avoid crowds if they go out with no use of public transport, maintaining two-metre distancing.

They must keep a record of family members and their safety record.

* No kissing or sex with partners who are showing symptoms and do not share toothbrushes, towels, dishes, drinks or bed sheets.

* No need to wear mask unless when people visit or possible contact with an infected person.

* Cough and sneeze at least two metres away from each other and turn around and preferably into handkerchief or into arm. Disinfect surfaces regularly.

WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEONE TESTS POSITIVE?

* If someone tests positive, it is not necessary for the team to automatically go into quarantine.

* The player must self-isolate from his family and fellow team members for 14 days from the start of symptoms, staying in different rooms to family members if possible, sleeping in separate beds and wearing a face mask.

* Club doctor informed and information sent to the League. It is kept anonymous and not reported to the press.

Daily Mail

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