Bundesliga fixtures are set to be played behind closed doors under strictly monitored conditions, with around 300 personnel including players at the stadiums and medical protocols in place (Pic: Guardian).
The Bundesliga’s resumption is expected to look a little different than usual on May 16. German fans will surrender an ingrained Saturday afternoon routine and watch the league from afar, knowing any attempt to get close to the team would be a violation of the health regulations. A total of around 300 players, officials, and staff will be allowed in and around stadiums during matches. The fanless matches, called ‘ghost games’ in Germany, are very alien to the Bundesliga.
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Upon resumption, Dortumund will have to contend without midfielders Emre Can and Axel Witsel who will miss the derby against Schalke on May 16.
Coach Lucian Favre refused to clarify the reasons for Can and Witsel’s absence, but German media reported they are suffering muscle injuries.
On the flip side, RB Leipzig are prepared for resumption better than most, coach Julian Nagelsmann insisted, with the squad having already undergone a "dress rehearsal" for stadium processes.
Fixtures are set to be played behind closed doors under strictly monitored conditions, with medical protocols in place for all those involved.
Turkish Footballer Kills Son
Turkish authorities arrested a former top-tier football player who confessed to killing his 5-year-old son while under treatment at a hospital for a suspected coronavirus infection.
Cevher Toktas, 32, handed himself to police and made the confession of smothering his son, Kasim, with a pillow on May 4, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. The boy’s death was not considered to be suspicious at the first go, even though he tested negative for coronavirus. His body has been exhumed so that an autopsy could be performed as part of the investigation, Anadolu reported.
The boy was taken to a children’s hospital in the northwestern province of Bursa when he had a cough and high fever on April 23.
Toktas said, he smothered the boy and called the medical staff, saying Kasim had taken a turn for the worse. The 5-year-old was immediately taken to the intensive care unit, where he died two hours later.
Mourinho Desperate for Premier League Return
Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho, is eager for the Premier League’s return in spite of safety concerns growing about the resumption.
“I have not asked for any delay. I want to train and I am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it’s safe to do so, particularly now as we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action,” Mourinho said.
“I am extremely proud of the way my players have maintained their fitness – they have shown great professionalism, passion and dedication. We have all been working extremely hard through remote squad training sessions and isolated running now the pitches are available to use again at the training centre.”
Brighton & Hove Albion striker Glenn Murray, in conversation with Sky Sports opined that despite his desire to see the season completed it should be delayed until the country is well equipped to safeguard players and their families first.
"[The league] does need to go on, but if we give ourselves a little bit more time, the country will be back up and running again, we'll have learned more about this virus, we won't necessarily have a vaccine, but we'll be better prepared to deal with it if anyone does get it,” Murray said.
"I can't understand after loosening the lockdown why we're in such a rush to get it back when we could just wait a month and see if things go to plan. Why not see how the country copes with lessening the lockdown without starting unnecessary sports when people are dying all around us, and the death rate is still high.”
AIFF's Futsal Championship
The inaugural Futsal Club Championship, with teams participating from the Indian Super League (ISL), I-League and Second Division is expected to be staged by early September this year.
Last year, clubs from the ISL, I-League and Second Division were invited by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to confirm participation for the competition which was supposed to happen in June-July. It was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The discussion for the new dates of the futsal championship for the 2020-21 season took place at the AIFF executive committee meeting on May 13.
"We are planning to have the inaugural Futsal Club Championship as a curtain raiser for the new season. It could take place at the end of August or first week of September depending on the situation around," I-League CEO Sunando Dhar told IANS.
10 clubs from ISL, I-League and Second Division League have confirmed their participation. The clubs are: Bengaluru FC, FC Goa, Odisha FC, Kerala Blasters, Gokulam Kerala, Aizawl FC, TRAU, Rajasthan FC, Mohammedan Sporting and ARA FC.
FA Doubles Women's Participation
The Football Association (FA) claims to have achieved the objective to double women’s participation in football in England in three years. The number of women and girls playing football in England stands at 3.5 million now.
The FA had launched its game plan in 2017 and since then there has been a 54% increase in affiliated women’s and girls’ teams since then.
Louise Gear, Head of Women's Football Participation said, “The impact that [the programmes] are all having on physical and mental health and wellbeing and the joy they are bringing to their communities” was “probably one of [the FA’s] proudest achievements”.
“If more women and girls are playing the game then they need places to play. Easy to say but much harder to execute and providing more places to experience football has been our top priority.”
“Crucially, that has been achieved by building an infrastructure of Wildcats centres for 5 to 11 year old girls and Just Play centres for adults. That infrastructure has been integral to the growth of competitive female teams, from 6000 [the strategy’s baseline] to 9251,” she added.
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