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German football league returns after months of shutdown

The German Bundesliga returns on Saturday after series of absence occasioned by the novel  coronavirus disease.

The league is returning behind closed doors and with strict hygiene measures in place.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the nod for the league to return, announcing that People from two different households can meet up, all shops will soon be allowed to reopen across Germany, Schools will gradually reopen for all pupils this month, Bundesliga football can return by the end of May and State governments will decide when to re-open bars, restaurants, hotels and cinemas

The first match to kick off was Fortuna Duesseldorf at home to Paderborn.

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund host arch-rivals Schalke in front of empty terraces at Signal Iduna Park, while leaders Bayern Munich, who are four points clear, visit Union Berlin on Sunday.

Also, Germany’s second tier on Saturday became the first professional western European league to resume following the coronavirus lockdown.

The top-flight Bundesliga restarted later in the day at 1330 GMT.

Bundesliga 2 action returned at 1100 GMT, with four matches played behind closed doors and with strict health guidelines in place.

However, the game between Hanover and Dynamo Dresden was postponed after the Dresden squad was forced to quarantine for two weeks due to two positive tests for COVID-19.

South Korean Lee Jae-Sung scored the first Bundesliga goal in over two months by giving Holstein Kiel a third-minute lead in their 2-2 draw at Regensburg.

There was almost immediate drama in Aue’s 3-1 win over Sandhausen, with visitors Sandhausen having defender Dennis Diekmeier sent off in the fourth minute for conceding a penalty.

The leagues are hoping to conclude by the end of June, having been suspended in mid-March, with nine rounds of regular-season matches to be played.

AFP

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