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Bundesliga suffers blow after coronavirus test positives

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“In the past few weeks, we have made enormous efforts in terms of personnel and logistics in order to strictly implement all the prescribed medical and hygienic measures,” said Dynamo sports manager Ralf Minge.

“We are in contact with the responsible health authority and the DFL [German Football League] to coordinate all further steps. The fact is that we can neither train nor participate in the game in the next 14 days.”

The Bundesliga announced this week that it would restart on May 16 after being given the green light by the government.

The league has drawn up a detailed set of regulations and guidelines for training and matches in order to reduce to the mininum possible the risk of transmitting the virus, including stringent testing.

However, the question of how to respond to positive tests is out of the hands of the league as German law states any response to cases is a matter for the local health authority.

The league has been on hold since mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has brought football to a standstill around the world. Germany’s progress is being closely watched by other leagues.

On Monday, the DFL said it had registered 10 positive cases in a blanket test of 1724 players and staff at its 36 first and second division clubs.

Meanwhile, Berlin Bundesliga players will only be allowed to celebrate together with “brief elbow or foot contact” if and when the league resumes next week.

Eintracht Frankfurt sporting director Fredi Bobic also revealed that away teams would be awarded the points if masses of fans congregate outside home stadiums for the games behind closed doors.

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High fives and hugging in the case of goals or victories should be avoided, the Bild newspaper reported, citing an internal DFL document.

Spitting is also not permitted.

There will be no child mascots, no handshakes, no team photos and squads will come out of the tunnel at different times.

The report said the DFL document also requests that everyone on the bench wears a mask and that seats are left empty in between each person.

It is not just players and team officials who are being asked to change behaviour.

The last nine rounds of the season, which the DFL hopes to complete by the end of June, will be played without fans because of the pandemic.

Bobic has implored supporters not to come to home stadiums and stand outside.

Reuters and DPA

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