While games in other leagues in Europe were canceled due to the coronavirus epidemic, the ball continues to roll in the Bundesliga for the time being – also on Saturday in Mönchengladbach, where the game was supposed to be on the brink.
Borussia Mönchengladbach against Borussia Dortmund – the Borussia duel, the current fourth in the table against the third, is the highlight of the upcoming 25th Bundesliga matchday. The stadium in Mönchengladbach will be sold out with around 54,000 spectators – and the ball will roll despite the coronavirus epidemic. “The game can take place,” announced the host club after discussions with the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia on Wednesday. According to media reports, there was both a “ghost game” in front of empty ranks and a complete cancellation in the room.
However, the Gladbachers encouraged visitors from the Heinsberg district to return their tickets. The price will be reimbursed, and there will also be free tickets for those who follow the offer for Borussia’s next Champions or Europa League home game. To date, more than 100 corona infections have been confirmed in and around the city of 40,000 inhabitants, around 30 kilometers from Mönchengladbach. So far, Heinsberg is the most severely affected district in Germany by the coronavirus. Last weekend, the responsible football association Middle Rhine had therefore canceled all amateur football matches in the district.
DFL and DFB: “The health authorities decide”
Although other major events such as the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) in Berlin or the Book Fair in Leipzig have already been called off due to the coronavirus epidemic, German professional football has not yet pulled the ripcord. In Switzerland, on the other hand, all 1st and 2nd division games scheduled for March have been canceled, and ten games have been postponed in Italian Serie A so far.
The German Football League (DFL), which is responsible for the Bundesliga and 2nd division matches, is in constant contact with the Federal Ministry of Health. Before the previous matchday, the DFL had stated that there was no indication at the current status that the games could not be played as planned. “If anything changes in the current situation, the health authorities will decide on the possible consequences,” said a message from the DFL last week. This still exists, said a DFL spokeswoman on DW’s request. During the UEFA Congress in Amsterdam, DFB Vice President Rainer Koch also referred to the close coordination with the health authorities: “They have to make the decisions and we follow their advice,
BVB cancels trip to Asia
The professional clubs have reacted to the corona epidemic. Borussia Dortmund canceled his trip to Asia planned for the summer. RB Leipzig canceled all trips by its players and employees. FC Bayern and BVB advised their professionals not to sign autographs until further notice and not to be available for photos or selfies with the fans.