DFL agrees guidelines for return of fans in Bundesliga

Clubs in football’s German Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga have agreed on a set of measures that would allow some fans to return to stadiums for the 2020-21 season.

Clubs met virtually today (Tuesday) as part of the German Football League’s (DFL) general meeting to discuss the potential return of spectators to grounds.

It was decided that away fans will not be allowed at Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga stadiums until at least the end of the year. If fans are able to return to stadiums at all, no standing spaces will be opened before October 31 at the earliest and no alcohol will be allowed in the stands.

The identity and contact details of fans would also be stored in the case of COVID-19 infection, allowing for effective contact tracing to limit the spread of the virus. Clubs will be required to set up clear contact tracing measures based on location-specific concepts.

The Bundesliga season is due to start on September 18 and the German government has banned events with large crowds until October 31. The proposals outlined today would require approval from the relevant political authorities, with health ministers in German states scheduled to meet next week.

“If and when fans will return to the stadiums is not a decision for the DFL but for the political leaders,” DFL chief executive Christian Seifert said. “The DFL does not expect or demand anything but we are preparing to take this small step (with fans in stadiums) when the time comes.”

On the number of spectators that may be allowed into stadiums for the start of the season, Seifert added: “Nobody in the league asked to start with 20,000 or 30,000 spectators on September 18. That number sounds strange.”

Last month, clubs were sent a guideline to help them create concepts to allow spectators back into stadiums. The DFL has previously said that standing areas could reopen from November 1, when German states could seek to revise their individual COVID-19 regulations.

Image: DFL