Bundesliga ready to lead way in football

Germany's Bundesliga has been given government go-ahead to restart later in May

Germany's Bundesliga may not normally get as much attention as the English Premier League or Spain's La Liga but their planned restart date has put the full focus on them.

"The return of the Bundesliga is great news for the football industry and marks the way for the staggered return of football that will not be complete until the return of fans to the stadiums," La Liga president Javier Tebas said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and state premiers in the country on Wednesday allowed the Bundesliga to restart in the second half of May.

The nation's football league DFL has named May 16 as the first day to complete the nine rounds left since the coronavirus pandemic led to the suspension of action in mid-March.

Bayern Munich, chasing an eighth successive title, currently lead the table with 55 points from 25 games, four ahead of Borussia Dortmund with RB Leipzig third on 50.

While the Dutch and French leagues have been abandoned after state authorities denied any kind of sports action, the big leagues in England, Italy and Spain still seek a restart just like the Germans and others like Portugal, Serbia and Turkey.

In Germany, officials are well aware that all eyes are on them and the detailed concept from a DFL and German Football Federation (DFB) task force to stage games behind closed doors with the best possible safety and hygiene measures.

Tim Meyer, the chief medical officer of the DFB and European body UEFA who headed the domestic task force, has warned the German way can only be a blueprint "for countries that are in a similar infection and test situation."

Germany has a lower infection and death rate than England, Italy and Spain, and more testing capacity which Meyer said is "fundamentally different from other countries."

England has stadiums in densely populated areas which would make social distancing more difficult and holding matches at neutral venues - if permitted by the government - is not supported by all clubs.

Furthermore, players like Manchester City's Sergio Aguero have voiced health concerns around a restart while Brescia captain Daniele Gastaldello says his entire squad opposes resuming the Serie A season amid the pandemic.

Meyer has said that the German system can also not be 100 per cent foolproof but is designed "ensuring that the footballers were given a medically justifiable level of security when performing their profession."

The Premier League still hopes to resume in June, just like La Liga and Serie A.