Berlin (AFP) – Bundesliga clubs on Thursday welcomed a decision by the German Football League (DFL) to put teams in “quarantine training camps” for the last two match days of the season to ensure the fixture schedule is completed on time.
The top 36 clubs in the first and second Bundesliga will go into camp from May 12 until the final weekend of the season on May 23.
With Germany currently in the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the DFL has tightened hygiene restrictions.
“This creates another important condition to safeguard the staging of matches in the first and second divisions,” said Bayern Munich vice-chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen.
“Health must always come first.”
Christian Streich, head coach of Freiburg finds the concept “reasonable and right”, while Heiko Herrlich, his counterpart at Augsburg, agreed it is “right that the risk is minimised”.
Herrlich fell foul of the Bundesliga’s strict hygiene rules in place last May after leaving the team hotel to buy a tube of toothpaste.
He admitted his mistake and stood himself down for Augsburg’s first match when the league returned after a two-month hiatus last season.
The league has ordered clubs to isolate their squads fully next month for the last 10 days of the season to make sure it can be finished on time ahead of Euro 2020, which runs from June 11-July 11.
“The ‘quarantine training camps’ serve to additionally secure… match operations – especially taking into account the deadline pressure due to the UEFA EURO following the season,” said the DFL in a statement.
The DFL has reacted after Bundesliga strugglers Hertha Berlin were ordered into a two-week quarantine last Thursday as several squad members tested positive for the coronavirus.
Hertha must play six games in 19 days next month, including the three matches that were postponed while in quarantine.
There have also been several cases of clubs being quarantined in the second and third divisions.
Before starting the isolation camps, players and coaches are to go into a “quasi-quarantine” from May 3 when squad members and staff will only be able to move between their homes and club grounds, “to reduce contact and minimise the risk of infection”.
Bayern Munich, who are 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, can be confirmed as German champions for the ninth consecutive season this Saturday with a win at Mainz.
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