The Bundesliga trophy
The Bundesliga trophy

DFL confirms May 16 restart for Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga

The German Football League has announced that the Bundesliga season will resume play on Saturday May 16.

Politicians backed the league to continue their season behind closed doors, and the football authorities confirmed that next weekend will see games return.

German chancellor Angela Merkel told regional authorities on Wednesday that the competition could restart in the second half of May.

The 36 clubs held a conference call on Thursday to finalise a resumption date which was later announced by DFL managing director Christian Seifert.

"The interest (globally) is big. I see reports from across the world that we are the first major league to return," Seifert said.

"This can only happen because we have the privilege to live in one of the most modern health systems in the world."

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As part of the measures allowing a return, spectators will not be allowed in stadiums while players, officials and staff will undergo Covid-19 testing.

Football in the country has been suspended since mid-March with France and the Netherlands, two of Germany's neighbours, already deciding to end their campaign early.

The Eredivisie effectively made their league 'null and void' with no title, relegation or promotion while France's Ligue 1 took the points-per-game method which handed PSG another trophy.

In a statement, the DFL said: "The season continues in both leagues with the 26th matchday, the other matchdays follow in the order originally intended.

"It is planned that the last day of the Bundesliga or 2. Bundesliga will be played on June 27 and 28 respectively. Since an adjustment of the basic schedule is necessary for the scheduling of the game days until the end of the season, there are currently final coordination talks with the DFB.

"The second wave of the Corona tests planned before the start of team training has now been completed. It comprised 1,695 samples.

"Two cases of infection were identified and immediately reported to the local health authorities, who will decide on the measures to be taken."

The opening weekend of the campaign will see bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund and Schalke meet on Saturday in what is the highlight of the matchday 26.

Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach is Saturday's late kick-off, with Koln v Mainz and Union Berlin v Bayern Munich taking place on Sunday.

Monday night's clash between Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen is expected to be televised as well.

Bundesliga opening weekend fixtures

Saturday May 16

14:30 BST

  • Dortmund v Schalke
  • RB Leipzig v Freiburg
  • Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin
  • Fortuna Dusseldorf v Paderborn
  • Augsburg v Wolfsburg

17:30 BST

  • Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach

Sunday May 17

14:30 BST

  • FC Köln v Mainz

17:00 BST

  • Union Berlin v Bayern Munich

Monday May 18

19:30 BST

  • Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen

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