Eintracht Frankfurt director Fredi Bobic has warned that footballers may not have enough time to get match fit if the German league ‘Bundesliga’ resumes next month amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Should the politicians decide that we can play Bundesliga football again, we will need full team training again at some point. You need at least 14 days, ideally for about three weeks.” Bobic, 48, a former Germany striker, told broadcaster RTL.
Bundesliga clubs have been back in training for three weeks, but so far only in small groups, observing social distancing and strict hygiene measures to reduce the risk of infection.
Defending champions Bayern Munich were four points clear at the top of the table when the league season was halted on March 13.
However, Bundesliga bosses said Thursday that they will be ready to resume from May 9. The German Football League (DFL) still needs the go-ahead from Angela Merkel’s government and state leaders, who will meet in Berlin next Thursday.
If the German league is granted permission to resume, the players will face a race to get match fit again and Werder Bremen director Frank Baumann shares Bobic’s concern.
“Personally, I am rather sceptical that Bundesliga matches will be played again on 9 May. We have to wait and see what the government decides together with state leaders on April 30th,” said Baumann.
According to the DFL’s plan for the season to resume, hygiene guidelines will be issued to the players and club staff, who will be tested every few days.
The Ministry for Labour has even suggested players and match officials wear face masks and gloves during games, which has been greeted with scepticism by some clubs.
So far, there have been 14 cases of the coronavirus among Germany’s 1,100 professional footballers, but all players affected have now recovered.
Germany currently has 150,383 cases of the coronavirus and has so far recorded 5,321 deaths due to the virus.