Bundesliga fixtures will see stadiums capped at 15,000 spectators from this weekend in a bid to tackle rising coronavirus cases in Germany.
On Thursday, 73,000 new infections and 388 deaths were reported in the country, with a fourth wave threatening to overwhelm intensive care units.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and her soon-to-be successor Olaf Scholz have consequently reached agreement with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states to reintroduce preventative measures aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.
One of the rules means Bundesliga matches, which have been operating with near-capacity crowds this season, will be restricted to 50 per cent attendance with a maximum of 15,000.
The reintroduction of measures impacts Saturday’s Klassiker clash between leaders Bayern Munich and second-place Borussia Dortmund taking place at Signal Iduna Park. Only one point separates the teams at the top of the table.
German Football League (DFL) chief Christian Seifert said the governing body can understand why the rules have been put in place.
“The DFL is aware of the currently difficult corona situation, especially with a view to the strain on some regional health systems,” he said via a DFL statement.
“It is regrettable that, due to the pandemic situation and the still too low vaccination rate in Germany, restrictions in many areas of life are once again necessary.
“In this situation, a differentiated, comprehensible, but above all effective policy strategy is required.
“A temporary restriction on the admission of fans to the stadiums is therefore understandable. The DFL hopes that this decision by the federal and state governments will lay the foundation for a rapid improvement in the pandemic situation.
“The DFL and its clubs will of course continue to support all vaccination effort.”
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