German Bundesliga set to return May 9, will be first major soccer league back in action
While it has not quite been as long as to see parts of the Titanic raised from the ocean floor, it has felt like a lifetime since a major European football league has played.
Or any major sport, for that matter (sorry to the darts and table tennis crowd).
But it looks like the Belarus Premier League will have some company very shortly, with one of the top five leagues in the world set to return to action after two months due to the COVID-19 virus.
The German Bundesliga looks likely to be the first league to resume play, and the action should resume on May 9. :
“The green light has been given for the @Bundesliga_EN to restart May 9- behind closed Doors. The health department needs to agree and the league has to present them their plan but as of now things are looking up and up for May 9th return of German (soccer ball)."
The matches will resume with no fans ("Geisterspiele", or ghost matches), but it could be a huge boost to people around the world who have been lost without the beautiful game. There will be a video conference, scheduled for Thursday, between the DFL and 36 clubs in the first and second divisions, and a decision is set to be made then.
“The prerequisite is that there is a well thought-out concept,” the State Premier of Bavaria Markus Soder told Bild.“What the DFL have presented shows that protective measures are in place. I could imagine that we can go back to the state of games behind closed doors. It is a tightrope walk. We now have to be careful not to overdo it or be frivolous.
“Games with audience participation are completely unthinkable. Games behind closed doors are also a tightrope walk. It is conceivable that we might be able to play a ghost round at the earliest from May 9th.
“It is clear: a weekend with football is much more bearable than a weekend without football.”
The return also has the backing of North Rhine-Westphalia State Premier Armin Laschet.
With nine weeks to go in the campaign, seven-time defending champions Bayern Munich sit at the top of the (55 points) by four points over Borussia Dortmund (51) and five over third place RB Leipzig (50). Borussia Monchengladbach (49) is just six points back, while Bayer 04 Leverkusen is in fifth (47), just two points outside the final UEFA Champions League place.
Bayern Munich still has to play three of those teams, with Borussia Dortmund (third match back) and Bayer 04 Leverkusen (fifth match back) both on the road.
As of today, Bayern Munich is a heavy favorite (around -500) to bring home its eighth-straight title, with Dortmund around +600, and RB Leipzig around +800.