The German Football League (DFL) has confirmed that the top-tier Bundesliga will restart on May 16 after Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday (Wednesday) said the league could resume following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following Merkel’s approval yesterday, DFL chief executive Christian Seifert said the decision was good news for the Bundesliga and Bundesliga.2. Seifert has now confirmed in a press conference today that matches will begin again behind closed doors on May 16.
The DFL said that strict health guidelines would be imposed when matches resume.
Six Bundesliga matches will take place on Saturday, May 16, with two to be held on Sunday, May 17 and one on Monday, May 18. The derby match between Schalke and Borussia Dortmund is among the fixtures scheduled.
The Bundesliga will become the first major European league to resume matches amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The league has been suspended since March 13 but will now continue behind closed doors following approval at a meeting between federal and state governments.
The Bundesliga still has nine rounds left to play. A position paper agreed on by Merkel and the prime ministers of the 16 federal states no longer specifies the need for a quarantine period of two weeks, freeing up the Bundesliga to resume.
The DFL announced last month that clubs were prepared to resume the 2019-20 season behind closed doors in May. The DFL said at the time that in-stadium personnel would be kept to a minimum in the event of a return to action.
It is hoped that the Bundesliga and Bundesliga.2 seasons can conclude on the weekend of June 27-28.
A proposal is set to be submitted to the Spanish government that could see Jerez host two MotoGP grands prix and a World Superbike round at the end of July and the start of August.
The proposal will be made by the Andalusian government, Jerez council and MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports following an electronic meeting between the three parties earlier today.
The proposal will suggest hosting two MotoGP events on the weekends of July 19 and July 26 at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto, and a WorldSBK event on August 2.
If the proposal is authorised by the Spanish government, the three events will be proposed to the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) for inclusion on the MotoGP and WorldSBK calendars.
MotoGP has been forced to postpone the opening 11 rounds of the season due to COVID-19. Dorna Sports is still hopeful of staging between 10 and 12 events this year, with Europe set to serve as a hub for races.
New Zealand Rugby has welcomed an announcement from the government that professional rugby and netball will be able to resume at ‘Level 2’ of the country’s COVID-19 alert system.
The move would pave the way for the return of the Super Rugby club competition in New Zealand. The government is set to decide on Monday whether it will move from ‘Level 3’ to ‘Level 2’.
“For our fans, our players and everyone involved in Investec Super Rugby, we are thrilled that the Sports Minister has given the green light for professional sport to resume at level two,” New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said.
“Both netball and rugby have been working closely with government agencies on what training and playing at level two could look like, and we are incredibly grateful for their support. As soon as the country announces what date we move to alert level two, we will be able to confirm what date Investec Super Rugby will kick off.”
Five New Zealand teams – the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders – will feature in ‘Super Rugby Aotearoa’, a 10-week competition which could get underway as early as mid-June.
The five teams will play each other home and away, with two matches every weekend. All matches will be played in closed stadia.