Mass preventive testing could be the solution for returning spectators to football stadiums. At least that’s how fritz keller sees it.
"There must be a way to regain a certain normality through testing," the president of the german soccer federation told the "badische zeitung" and hopes for a partial opening of the arena for the international match against spain in early september in stuttgart.
The efforts of soccer on the way back to a little normality in the wake of the corona crisis have been received favorably in the political arena. "The question of how football games are held with spectators is an important signal for all other major events as well. The rules have to fit," said federal health minister jens spahn (CDU) at an election campaign event in poland. The concept of the german soccer league is convincing in itself, spahn said.
Baden-wurttemberg’s sports minister susanne eisenmann was more cautious. She understands keller’s wish, "but with all the love for soccer: during a pandemic there are much more important things than a full stadium," she said. Eisenmann added: "further relaxation for stadium visits with as many spectators as possible is definitely too early for me at the beginning of september."Superspreader events are something we cannot afford under any circumstances.
The bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga to start on 18. September in the 2020/21 season. The first round of the DFB cup will take place a week earlier. DFB and deutsche fubball liga (DFL) recently presented guidelines for returning spectators. This should not only help in the development of site-specific concepts, but also guide the procedure in the 3. League, the DFB cup, the national team and the women’s bundesliga regulations.
The DFB is working with experts and scientists from many fields on a system that will make stadium attendance possible again, keller emphasized. He rejected possible criticism of a special role for fubball. "The preventive tests will not benefit fubball, but everyone," said the DFB boss.
With the infrastructure of its 25.000 clubs the DFB can help society. "If, ideally, every one of 7.1 million members gets five to ten people from his or her club to come and try out, you can work out how much we’ve been able to achieve," said keller. In every club there is someone with medical experience who can guide the self-tests. Already in the morning after the test you can have the result on your cell phone.
According to keller, a negative test result would not pose a problem for a visit to the stadium. "Since scientists believe that you are very unlikely to infect anyone else for up to 48 hours after a test, it is possible to ensure the highest possible level of safety for others within that time period," the 63-year-old explained.
The head of the chancellor’s office, helge braun (CDU), had previously expressed his openness to the idea in the "bild am sonntag" newspaper. "If there is a good hygiene concept and distance between visitors is guaranteed, events can take place – even with a large number of spectators."
A spokesman for the federal ministry of health said on monday that, in principle, the individual soccer clubs had to submit their own hygiene concepts, which had to be approved by the local health authorities. "But what matters is not on paper, what matters is on the pitch, or in this case, in the stadium. That’s why it’s important that the respective clubs, together with their local health authorities, adapt the concepts so that this is also implemented. And it is important to me that this is also strictly adhered to," spahn emphasized. It is also about the traceability, who has sat where in the. "Although i strongly advocate that the minimum distance of 1.50 meters in the stadium also be observed," the minister emphasized.