In a move that many fans have dreaded but expected, Germany has finally imposed COVID restrictions on all sports in the country from December 28. This means that the Bundesliga will be resuming on January 7, 2022, to empty stadiums like in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.
The new restrictions are due to the Omicron variant tearing through all facets of life in Europe, and with that variant of COVID being a hyper-resistant variant of the virus, the German authorities have been forced to take this decision.
It is not clear how long these new restrictions will last, but fans will have to do away with their season tickets for the rest of the season and cheer their clubs from behind various screens.
The Premier League is currently debating postponing their ongoing season to also tackle a surge in cases within clubs and fan bases. Earlier in the week, the board of Premier League chose against postponing the season but Daily Mail reports that this decision did not go down well with quite a few players, captains and club staff.
A call has now been scheduled to explain the reasons for the decision to continue the season to the aggrieved parties with a final decision on the next steps to take to prevent the virus from spreading further.
Games continue to get postponed by the Premier League regardless, piling up the fixtures in the coming weeks for the clubs. Liverpool vs Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Watford are the latest games to be postponed, giving fans who have chosen to spend their Boxing Day holiday cheering their clubs a new headache to deal with.
With respect to the ongoing pandemic, the news from Germany is not all bleak, Vaccination rates are going up among clubs and fans, which could lead to some positive news in the near future.
New Restrictions to hit Bundesliga clubs hard
Explaining the decision, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “I can understand anyone who doesn’t want to hear about the coronavirus, mutations and new virus variants. But we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to this next wave.”
Scholz will meet with Germany’s 16 state governors on January 7, the day the Bundesliga resumes, to review the measures. While the Bundesliga will not be as hit yet because the league is currently on break, club bosses have already cried out about the potential implications of another lockdown on their clubs’ finances.
1. FC Köln managing director, Alexander Wehrle, stated that his club stood to lose €1.8 million for every match played behind closed doors. Bayern Munich officials claim that they will be losing between €4 million to €5 million per home game.