Berlin (AFP) – Champions League finalists and Bundesliga title holders Bayern Munich on Friday waived the German league’s offer to delay their start to the 2020/21 domestic season by insisting they keep with tradition and host the opening game.
Bayern face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League final on Sunday in Lisbon to end the current term which has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The German Football League (DFL) had initially offered to push back Bayern’s start to the new campaign until Monday September 21 in order to allow the Bavarians extra time to prepare.
However, the DFL said Bayern, who won an eighth straight title last season, want to keep with the tradition, established in 2002, by hosting the opening game.
As a result Bayern will play Schalke at Munich’s Allianz Arena on Friday September 18.
“Bayern Munich have stated their wish to contest the season opener in keeping with the tradition and to do so without any additional preparation time,” said a DFL statement.
Originally, the DFL had pencilled in last season’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund and fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach to replace Bayern against Schalke as the opening game.
Now Dortmund and Gladbach, who have both qualified for the Champions League, are scheduled to meet as the top game on Saturday, September 19.
Opening day fixtures (all times 1330 GMT unless stated)
Friday 18 September
Bayern Muenchen v Schalke (1830)
Saturday 19 September
Eintracht Frankfurt v Arminia Bielefeld, Union Berlin v Augsburg, Cologne v Hoffenheim, Werder Bremen v Hertha Berlin, Stuttgart v Freiburg, Borussia Dortmund v Borussia Moenchengladbach (1630)
Sunday 20 September
RB Leipzig v Mainz, Wolfsburg v Bayer Leverkusen (1600)
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