The Bundesliga of Germany is going to be given a green light to restart most likely from May 15 as a part of the measures for further easing the country's coronavirus or COVID-19 regulations, two sources who are familiar with the preparations told Reuters.
The Bundesliga will the first among the top five football leagues of Europ to resume the play after a stoppage which has made all kinds of sports halt due to the deadly novel virus outbreak since mid-March.
Bundesliga to start in May
German states are set to agree on the restart in a teleconference with Chancellor Angela Merkel scheduled for Wednesday, the sources said. Matches would take place under strict conditions - and with no fans in stadiums. So far Portugal, Poland and Hungary have given dates for restarting their national leagues, all towards the end of May.
Germany's professional teams have been training since mid-April, divided into small groups and under strict conditions which include extensive testing of all players and coaching staff. The German Football League (DFL) has submitted a health safety plan for games without spectators which includes regular testing of players but no quarantines for entire squads in cases of positive tests.
Reports suggested hopes of restart hampered by Hertha Berlin players
However, it says that if a player is infected, decisions on the measures to be taken lie with the local health authorities. On Monday, the DFL said that it had registered 10 positive cases in a blanket test of 1,724 players and staff at its 36 first and second division clubs. The DFL said that a second round of tests would be carried out in the next week and there "may be isolated positive test results".
Some media reports suggested that hopes of a restart had been hampered by the behaviour of players at Hertha Berlin on Monday. Hertha forward Salomon Kalou posted a video on social media showing him shaking hands with players and interrupting a team mate's medical exam. The club suspended the Ivorian, who apologised and said his behaviour did not reflect the club's instructions to staff.
(With agency inputs)