Soccer

Bundesliga agree date for fans to return as Premier League ponder next move

The Bundesliga have announced that they hope they may be able to allow some supporters back into stadiums as early as the 2020-21 season opener on September 18.

Local politicians in each of Germany's 16 federal states will have the final say on whether it will be permitted, but with cases of coronavirus in the country continuing to drop the league are hopeful they could at least hold games with a reduced capacity.

It has already been agreed that away fans won't be allowed in until at least the end of the year, while no alcohol will be served and no spectators will be allowed in the standing areas of grounds.

Chief Executive of the Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL), Christian Seifert, said: "If and when fans will return to the stadiums is not a decision for the DFL but for the political leaders.

"The DFL does not expect or demand anything but we are preparing to take this small step when the time comes.

"Professional football can only come back in steps. There is no magic switch for politicians to give the green light for full stadiums. That will happen in steps. We will have to reclaim normality in small steps.

"No one at the DFL will demand a specific number of fans. That would be irresponsible."

It is not yet clear what the situation with the Premier League is, with a trial potentially taking place in the Community Shield later this month which could see around 20,000 fans allowed into the 90,000 capacity Wembley Stadium.

Clubs will continue to lose millions of pounds through a lack of revenue while supporters are absent, and some in the lower divisions may struggle to survive unless fans are permitted back through the door soon.

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