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German prime ministers claim Bundesliga could return on May 9

The Bundesliga could return behind closed doors as early as May 9, according to the Prime Ministers of two German states.

Markus Soder, the Prime Minister of Bavaria and Armin Laschet, the Prime Minister of Nordrhein-Westfalen, suggested football could be back sooner than many have expected as long as restrictions are followed and safeguarding is in place.

The CEO of the German Football League (DFL), meanwhile, has warned football clubs would have to set a disciplined example to the rest of the population if play is resumed.

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"The prerequisite is that there is a well thought-out concept,” Laschet told Bild.

“What the DFL has presented in the last few days shows that there are safeguards.

“I could imagine that we could return to games behind closed doors.”

Laschet’s counterpart Soder warned: “It is a tightrope walk. We now have to be careful not to overdo it or be frivolous.

“Games with crowds in the stadium are completely unthinkable. ‘Ghost games’ are also a tightrope walk.

“It is conceivable that we might be able to play such a round of ‘ghost games’ at the earliest from May 9.

“A weekend with football is much more bearable than a weekend without football.”

DFL boss Seifert is optimistic that some solution can be found, but he was also keen not to undermine the continuing severity of the coronavirus situation.

"These are positive signals that have been sent,” he said.

“This gives both leagues (the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga) an important perspective.

“Politics trust us, and we and the players in particular must now be role models.

“This has a lot to do with hygiene measures and exemplary handling of social contacts. It is important to be disciplined, not only for the employer, but also for the fans.”

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge gave his support to the DFL’s plans and said Soder and Laschet’s words were “a very positive signal for the resumption of Bundesliga matches.”

In a statement on Bayern's website, Rummenigge added: “It is important that we treat the politicians' legal and medical guidelines in an exemplary and very serious manner in order to minimise the health risk.

“I would like to thank the management of the DFL, headed by Christian Seifert, for an excellent concept that takes full account of organisational and medical aspects.

“This concept is the basis for the positive and trustworthy assessment of the policy.”