Just hours after re-affirming its intention to play matches this weekend before a previously arranged March 17 shutdown, the DFL has reversed course and suspended play immediately, postponing all Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga matches effective immediately amid growing fears regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
All matches will be suspended through at least April 2, making the Bundesliga the last of the five major European leagues to shut down. Previously, the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 had all been suspended due to the spreading pandemic.
Earlier Friday morning, the DFL had refused to issue a blanked suspension of play, deferring instead to all local authorities on the possible postponement of individual matches. All matches except Hannover v. Dynamo Dresden had been to this point scheduled to play, all behind closed doors. Hannover had two players test positive for the coronavirus, causing the entire team to go into quarantine.
“The cause is, among other things, that during the day suspected infection with the Corona virus in the vicinity of several clubs and their teams arose and further infections cannot go unnoticed,” the statement read. “Previously, in the 2.Bundesliga after the professional team from Hanover 96, home quarantine was also prescribed for the entire FC Nuremberg first team by the local health authority.”
More coronavirus connections to soccer:
- The Premier League has postponed play through at least April 3. Aston Villa’s chief executive called it “a very good decision” while Jurgen Klopp said we must “protect each other.”
- CONCACAF has suspended play for a month, while UEFA postponed all fixtures next week ahead of a meeting to discuss plans for both club and international European competitions.
- Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi is the first Premier League player to test positive for coronavirus.
- Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested posted for coronavirus and the players and staff at the club are self-isolating.
- MLS announced its 2020 season is suspended for at least 30 days.
- Three Leicester City players are in self-isolation after displaying symptoms of coronavirus.
- Real Madrid players in isolation and La Liga games suspended for the next two weeks after Real basketball player tests positive for coronavirus.
- Serie A is considering alternative ways to conclude its scudetto and relegation races, including playoffs or the non-awarding of a champion.
- Juventus confirm that their defender Daniele Rugani has tested positive for coronavirus.
- Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis being diagnosed with coronavirus. Olympiacos and Forest have since confirmed all of their staff and players have been tested and their tests have come back as negative.