German league hopes for restart go-ahead despite 10 COVID-19 cases

BERLIN: Germany’s football league insisted on Monday (May 4) the mass testing of players and backroom staff was “providing protection” after 10 cases of coronavirus across the top two divisions raised questions about whether it will get the green light to resume matches this month.

On Monday, the German Football League (DFL) reported that out of 1,724 tests, 10 had returned a positive result, three of which are already known to involve Bundesliga side Cologne.

“The tests carried out over the past few days have fulfilled their purpose of providing additional safety and thus protecting players as best as possible from infection during team training or matches,” the DFL said in a statement.

The positive results, around 0.5 per cent of the total, all came from the first batch of tests as the German league prepares to resume from the weekend of May 16 in empty stadiums and with strict hygiene measures.

The league’s plans to become the first major European football competition to restart since the season was halted in mid-March hinge on the regular testing of players.

The DFL did not specify which clubs the positive tests came from, but the individuals concerned have immediately been quarantined and the local health authorities informed.

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