Bundesliga bows to pressure and postpones fixtures until April 2 amid coronavirus concerns

Bayern Munich 2019-20

German football has followed the lead of many other nations around the world by announcing a break in all competitive action, with the Bundesliga shut down amid ongoing coronavirus concerns.

Authorities had been under pressure to halt schedules in an ongoing global effort to contain the spread of Covid-19.

It was initially suggested that games would go ahead as planned this weekend, with matches taking place behind closed doors.

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The DFL have, however, now decided that they will join Serie A, Ligue 1, La Liga, the Premier League, Eredivisie and MLS in bringing fixture lists to an enforced close.

The plan is for those sides in the top two tiers to return to action from April 2, with the intention being to complete the campaign across all levels.

A statement released by DFL read: “In light of today's developments regarding the coronavirus and suspected cases in direct connection with the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, the Presidium of the DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga has decided at short notice to postpone the 26th matchday for both leagues.

“In addition, the committee recommends, as planned, that the general assembly of the professional clubs, which will meet next Monday, continue to suspend play until April 2.

“One of the reasons for this is that, during the day, there were suspicions of coronavirus infections in the vicinity of several clubs and their teams and that further infections cannot be ruled out. Previously, 2. Bundesliga team Hannover 96 prescribed home quarantine for the entire team on advice from the local health authorities.

“In the international break between all clubs, taking into account the knowledge currently available - for example with regard to the international match calendar - the course of action should remain unchanged. The goal is still to end the season by summer – from a sporting point of view, but especially because an early end to the season could have additional consequences for some clubs.”

Those chasing down reigning champions Bayern at the top of the table will be eager to return to action, as will those battling bravely to beat the drop.

Scheduling issues could prove to be a problem from this point, though, with there also Euro 2020 to be factored in for the summer – with top talent from across the continent due to grace that tournament from June 12.