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Statement by the DFL Executive Committee

Logos of the Bundesliga. Bundesliga 2 and Deutsche Fußball-Liga (DFL)

The Executive Committee of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga convened for a joint meeting via video link today. During the meeting, the current discussion surrounding a resumption of match operations in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 was debated. The DFL Executive Committee makes the following concluding statement on the matter:

• The statements of some German minister presidents and also the conference of German sports ministers in reference to a restart without stadium spectators in May are good news for professional football. The DFL and the clubs are conscious of their responsibilities. The Sports Medicine/Special Match Operations Task Force will present a firm, detailed plan with strict hygiene guidelines, necessary testing and ongoing monitoring at the forthcoming Ordinary Assembly on Thursday. At the same time, there will be overarching guidelines regarding match organisation with a minimum of employees present in the stadiums. Notwithstanding the above, the decision regarding a resumption of the season and the final determination on a specific date will, of course, rest with the responsible political bodies.

• Any assumption that possible continuous testing will cause a shortage of supplies for the general public ignores the facts. Testing capacity has been increased massively in recent weeks. This development is confirmed by bodies including German Accredited Laboratories in Medicine (ALM): According to the latest surveys, there are currently 640,000 tests available per week, which corresponds to an increase in daily capacity of more than 300 per cent in the last five weeks. The plan of the DFL currently under discussion requires less than 0.5 per cent of the current testing capacity. What is more, the existing capacity is not being exhausted according to the ALM. But it is also completely clear that, should bottlenecks actually arise due to future developments such as a second wave of coronavirus infections, the DFL will, of course, not compromise the supply to the general public.

• The DFL Executive Committee appeals to all professionals and clubs to continue dealing with the current situation in a responsible manner. In particular, it would be counterproductive and, above all, unacceptable to the public if team training as normal were resumed prematurely. The general situation may not be ignored in order to achieve individual competitive advantages with a view to a possible imminent resumption of match operations.

• The DFL Executive Committee is aware of the fact that nobody wants matches without spectators. For some clubs, they are currently the only option for securing their economic existence, also as an employer. The aim must be to maintain the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 in the form in which many people have treasured them for decades – with great tradition, atmosphere inside the stadiums and variety in terms of the clubs. We do not want an economic crisis to lead to structural damage that could be irreparable and radically change the face of German professional football.

• The DFL Executive Committee is conscious of the social responsibility that professional football bears. In this regard, it is incumbent on all decision-makers to also engage in self-criticism in reference to undesirable developments in recent years. It is beyond dispute that sustainability, stability and a down-to-earth nature must be among the core values in future. Once this acute crisis has been overcome, these values will have to be turned into tangible actions.

(DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga)