Bundesliga restart date pushed back as Merkel contemplates return to lockdown
The German Bundesliga will not return until at least May 16 as Angela Merkel considers putting the country back into lockdown.
Germany's top tier of football had hoped for matches to get back underway as early as May 9, but the decision has now been pushed back to next Wednesday, meaning matches will be delayed further by a minimum of a week.
No games have been played in the Bundesliga since Wednesday, March 11.
Players have returned to training with their clubs in preparation for the league to resume, but will have to wait for government approval before they are allowed back on the pitch in a competitive capacity.
Chancellor Merkel has re-opened schools, shops and churches, but the government is still pondering the idea of tightening the measures once more if the virus' reproduction rate increases to a constant level of above 1.0.
Football has therefore been deemed to be an unnecessary risk at this time, as a growth in the infection rate could lead Merkel to activate an ‘unavoidable’ second lockdown.
Despite having the sixth highest number of confirmed cases worldwide, Germany has managed to control their death rate, with the current number of fatalities at 6,470.
Germany have tested more than 2.5 million people since the COVID-19 outbreak, while the UK have yet to reach one million.