Following the success of Project Restart and the triumphant return of football in the midst of a pandemic, the next steps in a return to normalcy for the sport are outlined.
Before the Bundesliga returned in mid-May, German football created a blueprint for the rest of Europe on how the wonderful match could return in a controlled manner and contain the spread of the coronavirus.
After months of planning, the German Football League (DFL) successfully pioneered the safe return of football – and now wants to take it one step further.
Bayern Munich revealed they have come up with a ‘concept’ to get fans back in stadiums
On Tuesday, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed that the club has been working on a new ‘concept’ to get fans safely back into stadiums to watch live football after months of playing behind closed doors.
He claimed that a successful ‘inspection’ of the Allianz Arena had been carried out and that he was optimistic supporters who could return in some capacity in the near future.
“I don’t like football without fans,” Rummenigge said Tuesday, according to Kicker.
‘There was an inspection at Allianz Arena. We have a concept that has been implemented very well. Chances are we will be able to welcome fans back to the arena soon. ‘
Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said an inspection of the Allianz Arena has taken place
Rummenigge (left) is optimistic that fans may return in some capacity in the near future
While more details are yet to be discovered about Bayern’s concept, reports that thousands of fans with reduced capacity will need to get into the Allianz Arena should become a reality if they get the approval of the country’s ministers.
There is hope that this type of plan can be implemented at the start of the new Bundesliga campaign, which kicks off on September 18, but Rummenigge faces a few political hurdles before he can implement his plan.
Currently, Bavaria has a ban on major events taking place until the end of October, however Sportsmail understands that the city authorities are open to the idea that spectators with reduced capacity will return, as long as there is a rigid contact tracking protocol.
However, Bayern will need to be a bit more careful in their efforts compared to Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, who have already started talks about admitting 15,000 and 21,000 fans respectively.
Rummenigge also needs the blessing of the Bavarian Prime Minister, Markus Soder, who has put safety first as to how the pandemic should be addressed.
Borussia Dortmund has begun discussions on how to host games with a reduced capacity
Realistically, if they got the green light, Bayern wouldn’t see 5,000 to 8,000 supporters walking through the turnstiles until mid-October.
Another obstacle would also be persuading Germany’s health ministers, who refused to back up the DFL’s proposals to give fans a green light on Monday.
It comes after 36 clubs in Germany’s top two men’s soccer tiers held a virtual meeting earlier this month to outline their proposals for the return of fans.
Some of those proposals would mean that fans are not allowed to drink beer or stand on the terraces in the beginning, while only home fans are allowed to attend games.
Clubs agreed that banning absent fans would reduce the number of travelers across the country, minimizing the threat of the virus spreading.
Health Minister Jens Spahn also explained his rationale for rejecting the DFL’s proposal, stressing that having a crowd in a stadium is currently not the right route to take until at least October.
Realistically, Bayern would see only 8,000 supporters walking through the doors of the Allianz
Spahn tweeted: ‘Thousands of spectators in the stadiums – that doesn’t match the current contamination rate. Now is the time not to take avoidable risks. The DFL concept is good in theory.
‘We believe we should remain vigilant. In the current situation, spectators in the stands would send the wrong signal. ‘
In a slightly more progressive step, it was announced that 1,250 spectators will be allowed to see Dortmund’s friendly match with Altach on Wednesday at a testing event in Austria.
Those present at Stadion Schnabelholz, which has a capacity of 8,000, will have to wear a mask, while respecting social distance.
Additional reporting by Kit Holden.