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Bundesliga season return pushed back at least to May 16th, and possibly longer

The hopes for a May 9th start have been dashed, as it will be at least one more week until club football returns to Western Europe.

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29 April 2020, Berlin: A sculpture stands in front of the deserted main entrance to the stadium “An der Alten Försterei”, the home stadium of the 1.FC Union Berlin soccer club. Due to measures to contain the corona virus, no spectators are currently allowed into the stadium.  Photo by Andreas Gora/picture alliance via Getty Images

There were hopes that the Bundesliga would bring top-flight club football back to the world as soon as May 9th. However those have been dashed with an announcement today from the German government that the nation isn’t quite ready for soccer to return.

The decision was made this afternoon by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in consultation with ministers of 16 states. The next governmental meeting is scheduled for May 6th, at which time we might get some more clarity about when they season could resume.

“The contact restrictions will certainly now be extended until May 10 for the time being,” said Merkel’s chief of staff Helge Braun today. No matter when they resume, the matches upon return will be “ghost games” or “geisterspiele” in German where no fans will be in attendance. Some ultras for Borussia Mönchengladbach will be there in spirit via pictures of themselves posted to cardboard.

“Caution remains the imperative — we must remain disciplined,” said Merkel in her address today. And for now, the largest nation in Europe has decided to slow down the process of the return of soccer for at least a week.