Chancellor Merkel approves Bundesliga return as German top flight looks at May 15 comeback date

Germany will be the first major European league to get back underway after the coronavirus pandemic hit the continent (PA Images)
Germany will be the first major European league to get back underway after the coronavirus pandemic hit the continent (PA Images)
14:54pm, Wed 06 May 2020
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The Bundesliga will be the first of Europe's top five leagues to return since the coronavirus pandemic began following approval from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Action will resume in the second half of May, but no specific date has yet been confirmed by Germany's Football Association.

Bundesliga players returned to training last month (PA Images)

It comes after nearly two months of the competition being suspended, with the last game being played at Borussia Mochengladbach's stadium on March 11.

However, all matches will be played behind closed doors after it was decided by the government that a ban would be enforced on all events with large crowds until October 24.

According to German outlet Bild, it will now be up to the 20 Bundesliga sides to decide whether matches recommence on May 15 or May 22.

This will be agreed on Thursday when all the clubs will meet and lock in an official return date.

All teams in Germany's top two tiers have conducted coronavirus tests on their players and staff, with results on Tuesday returning ten positive cases from 1,724 tests.

Some clubs such as Werder Bremen are keen to push the resumption date back to as late as possible because of the strict regulations which have been enforced in their region meaning players will need longer to get back to match fitness.

Compared with the other four countries with major European leagues - France, England, Spain and Italy - Germany has had the fewest number of deaths from COVID-19.

Although they have reported 167,372 confirmed cases, the death toll has been kept comparatively low at 6,993 at the time of writing.

Bayern Munich will resume the season four points clear at the top of the table and second place Borussia Dortmund will have just nine games to try and hunt their title rivals down.

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