Coronavirus: Bundesliga suspension ratified as task force created to aid continuation of season

By Sports Desk March 31, 2020

The decision to suspend the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga seasons until at least April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic has been ratified, with a task force established to aid the campaign's eventual continuation.

The German Football League (DFL) announced an extension to the hiatus a week ago and, during a video conference on Tuesday, the proposal was unanimously approved by all relevant parties.

Further measures were also agreed during the meeting, including the formation of a task force to oversee planning for "continuation of gaming and training operations", and temporary alterations to sanctions implemented for financial problems.

The DFL remains committed to finishing the season by the end of June, in line with the request from UEFA, and is planning on resuming action in controlled environments.

The "sports medicine/special game operations task force" will develop an outline for this situation.

"A medical task force has been established to create a concept with the aim of medically justifiable continuation of gaming and training operations," a DFL statement read. "In a first step, this will centrally document all COVID-19 cases at the clubs of the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga.

"In addition, the commission is developing a procedure with which close, independent testing of players and other staff can be carried out, among other things, immediately before the matchdays.

"Furthermore, organisational measures in the stadium to avoid transmission (hygiene, disinfection, distance, etc.) as well as special processes in the game and training organisation are defined and uniformly laid down in a guideline. Close coordination with external experts and authorities is sought."

The DFL will also allow greater leeway with respect to clubs' potential financial issues in the current climate, confirming the nine-point deduction for opening insolvency proceedings has been suspended for this season.

The statement added: "This means for the current season that the deduction of nine points is suspended as a sanction for opening insolvency proceedings (Section 11 No. 5 of the licensing regulations).

"In the event of bankruptcy in the coming season, a penalty would be deducted of only three points. Furthermore, in the upcoming licensing procedure for the 2020-21 season, the clubs' liquidity situation will not be checked.

"However, the DFL prefers to review economic performance during the next season from the end of October to mid-September in order to get a realistic picture of the economic situation of the individual clubs as soon as possible based on the annual financial statements as of June 30, 2020.

"For the 2021-22 season, the licensing procedure is to be used again in the usual way - as a guarantee of the economic solidity and stability of German professional football."

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