Bundesliga gets permission to restart soccer season this month

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday announced a loosening of a range of containment measures after meeting with the country’s 16 state governors.

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The German government has given the Bundesliga  permission to restart competition this month.

The German government has given the Bundesliga permission to restart competition this month.

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BERLIN — The Bundesliga can resume playing this month, ending a two-month suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday announced a loosening of a range of containment measures after meeting with the country’s 16 state governors. Pressure to relax the rules had been growing as the rate of daily infections in the country has dropped.

Soccer in the top two divisions will resume without spectators and with a range of other conditions designed to prevent another outbreak, including the continuous monitoring and testing of players. Teams will also have to spend time in quarantine before games can restart.

The decision to allow play to resume came despite three positive tests for the virus at Cologne last weekend. Authorities said there were 10 positive cases from all 36 clubs in the top two divisions.

Hertha Berlin forward Salomon Kalou also broadcast a livestream showing social distancing measures being flouted at the club on Monday.

The earliest the leagues can resume is May 16. German soccer authorities are to hold a general meeting with the clubs via video link on Thursday to discuss how to proceed.

The Bundesliga was suspended with nine rounds remaining on March 13. The clubs have committed to finishing the season by the end of June.

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