German football still without spectators

German football still without spectators

At the end of 2021, the Bundesliga ended with very limited gauges in its stadiums, even empty enclosures. This was the case in Munich, currently affected by a wave of nine positive cases for Covid-19 or Leipzig. At the time of the resumption, the German championship is played again behind closed doors.

Worried about the arrival of the Omicron variant, Chancellor Olaf Scholz had announced in December his intention to drastically reduce contacts.

This Saturday, January 8, Borussia Dortmund boss Hans-Joachim Watzke spoke out against closed-door matches in the Bundesliga, arguing that politicians use football as ” a symbol ”Without valid health reason. “ It’s not about having full stadiums, that would be a completely wrong signal », He said in an interview with Spiegel, but I consider a 10% gauge would be appropriate “. Germany’s new government announced on December 21 that it was going to go behind closed doors in Bundesliga stadiums in January, although some regions, such as Berlin, eventually allowed limited gauges.

It is not economically bearable

In the Dortmund stadium, with a capacity of 82,000 seats, “ 8,000 spectators can be distributed in such a way that they have virtually no physical contact », Pleads Watzke. And to add: ” With 8000 spectators, the risk of infection with us would be very slim, and honestly, everyone knows that. But football must be highlighted as a political symbol. Explain to me why the concert halls receive 750 people twice a day, with an occupancy rate of 45%, and that in the open air stadiums no spectators are allowed? “.

According to Hans-Joachim Watzke, economically, professional football will not be able to hold out for long. ” Each game behind closed doors costs us (in Dortmund) four million euros. It is not economically bearable, he complains, especially as the link between the club and its fans is gradually loosening. Some of the spectators will not return “.

Learn to live with the covid

We have vaccines, we know that Omicron might not be as aggressive as the previous variant. However, I am not a health professional. But it would hurt my heart if we were to go back to lockdown times, where we have to shut down and isolate ourselves from everything. I don’t know if that helps. As I said before, it’s important to continue to act responsibly with this whole situation. But we still have to learn to live with the covid. And we need to get vaccinated, as we all know Borussia Dortmund coach Marco Rose said about a possible NBA-type bubble in the Bundesliga.

For the 18th day, which began on January 7, the Bundesliga therefore resumed behind closed doors. In a statement, the German League took the opportunity once again to appeal for vaccination. Germany has also restricted access to restaurants and bars.