After anger over 50,000 in Cologne: The Bundesliga is threatened with a ghost classic

After anger over 50,000 in Cologne
The Bundesliga is threatened with a ghost classic

67,000 spectators are still allowed to watch the top game in the Bundesliga between BVB and Bayern Munich. But it is hardly conceivable that the game will actually take place in front of spectators on Saturday. The pressure from politics is too high in view of the frightening corona situation.

The audience plan is still in place – but almost no one believes in the implementation anymore. The fact that 67,000 fans will actually experience the top game in the Bundesliga between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich live in the stadium on Saturday seems extremely unrealistic in view of the frightening Corona situation.

Much more, the widespread comeback of the ghost games is getting closer and closer – exactly half a time after the end of the game was proclaimed by politicians. For the Champions League game against Besiktas Istanbul, Borussia Dortmund has already canceled the advance sales for members “due to short-term developments”.

“Even if I am a football fan: In the sizes in which the stadiums are now occupied, it does not work,” said FDP party leader Christian Lindner on the ARD talk show Anne Will. The designated finance minister should know more than the public – and so the derby between 1. FC Köln and Borussia Mönchengladbach (4: 1) could have been the last game with full grandstands for the time being.

The encounter on Saturday in front of 50,000 spectators fueled the debate about the ghost games. Numerous top politicians and experts expressed their incomprehension. In addition to Lindner, Markus Söder and Karl Lauterbach, among others, are calling for greatly reduced audience numbers or the renewed complete exclusion of fans.

As a result, it is expected that after Saxony, Baden-Württemberg will also decide to return to closed games during the week. Bavaria has already greatly reduced the number of visitors allowed in the stadiums, and other federal states want to follow suit. TSG Hoffenheim (against Eintracht Frankfurt) and VfB Stuttgart (against Hertha BSC) would be affected by ghost games in Baden-Württemberg at the weekend. The Swabians are already alarmed.

Financial situation “more and more precarious”

Board boss Thomas Hitzlsperger warned urgently against encounters without spectators or even a “football lockdown”. “Ghost games are really dramatic for us,” said the former national player in the SWR and described the financial situation as “increasingly precarious”. Since the beginning of the pandemic, VfB has lost around 80 million euros in revenue: “We have a large stadium capacity and are also dependent on the ticketing revenues,” said Hitzlsperger: “When they break away, we feel it very clearly.”

Hitzlsperger can understand the reasons for ghost games, but would like a different solution. “We implemented all the regulations properly. Everything was very open and cooperative, and I did not hear any criticism,” he said. That is why he thinks it is “a very, very shame” that alternatives to ghost games are not being discussed.

RB Leipzig had their first experiences with the return of the games in front of empty ranks on Sunday. Not only the result against Bayer Leverkusen (1: 3) disaffected the bosses. “The fact is that you get tired, not just us in football, but also every other citizen in the country, with constantly new restrictions and hopes that are made to you. Then the next lockdown threatens again,” said managing director Oliver Mintzlaff at DAZN: “Of course it is a big disadvantage in sporting and economic terms that we have compared to the Bundesliga clubs who play in full or half-full stadiums.”

After all, this disadvantage could soon no longer exist. Germany-wide contact restrictions are inevitable for Söder. “What the Leopoldina demands, the whole country needs. We have to act decisively now,” said the Bavarian Prime Minister on Monday in the ZDF morning magazine.

source site-59