Borussia Dortmund's Hans-Joachim Watzke states the Bundesliga "will go under" if games don't return soon

Borussia Dortmund celebrate

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has stated that the Bundesliga "will go under" if games don't return in the near future.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the German leagues to be postponed in mid-March but there are now hopes that the competition will return on May 9.

The DFL has put together a plan for play being resumed with German ministers set to discuss the proposal in a meeting on Thursday.

A quick return to the leagues under controlled circumstances could save Germany's top-flight from financial ruin, according to Watzke.

"If we don't play in the next few months, all of Bundesliga will go under and then there wouldn't be a league in the way we know it," he told Sky.

"Of course, many fans say 'there's no desire for it, it's not on television', that is perfectly clear, but it's about saving football.

Hans-Joachim Watzke

"We are doing all we can to get back to work, we don't want any special treatment, definitely not, but we don't want to be at a disadvantage either.

"Football can play a relevant role in society, but that's not the question, we have to do all we can to avoid that someone says football has special treatment.

"We don't want to start with a special position, but, again, you can't compare football with other more popular sports, we want to do our jobs."

Christian Seifert, the league's chief executive, has already set out their plans for making a return to action, but the government and all 16 federal states need to voice their approval before football can return in Germany.

The Bundesliga will introduce widespread testing for coronavirus symptoms, an estimated 25,000 will be needed with players checked weekly, while those few being allowed into the ground will need to adhere to strict hygiene standards with pitchside sinks and protective masks mandatory.

Bayern Munich are the defending Bundesliga champions

"The Bundesliga is ready to resume, no matter whether on May 9 or a later date. But it's not up to us to find a date. The political decision makers decide," said Seifert.

"We have not defined an exact date today. The fact that we are even able to think about resuming games underlines the performance of the German authorities.

"It would be presumptuous for the DFL to name an exact date for the restart.

"It's not in our hands if we return or when. We have several options. If the signal comes in the next week that it can be May 9, then it will be May 9."

The federal government in Germany is set to meet again on April 30, when a decision will be made on the resumption of football in Germany.

Local authorities in Bavaria and North-Rhine Westphalia have already made positive noises about football being able to return, as long as strict hygiene controls are enforced.


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