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Bundesliga could 'go under' unless campaign resumes, as Argentine season declared over

Elsewhere, the Belgian league again delayed a vote on ending its season.

The world is experiencing a football shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The world is experiencing a football shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Image: EMPICS Sport

THE BUNDESLIGA COULD ‘go under’ unless the season resumes, the Argentine football season has been declared over due to the Covid-19 crisis and the Belgian league has again delayed a vote on ending its season.

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has warned that the Bundesliga could ‘go under’ unless Angela Merkel’s Government grants permission for the German football season to resume next month despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s about nothing more and nothing less than saving football,” Watzke told Sky Sport News. “If we don’t play for the next few months, the whole Bundesliga will go under. It will no longer exist in the form we have known it.”

The league ground to a halt in Germany on 13 March due to the virus outbreak, with defending champions Bayern Munich four points clear of second-placed Dortmund.

Last week, the German Football League (DFL) signalled that it is ready to resume from 9 May, albeit behind closed doors and with players tested regularly for the virus. But the DFL still needs permission from German Chancellor Merkel and the leaders of the states, who are due to meet on Thursday.

Some leading scientists and health advisors have been highly critical of the Bundesliga’s plans to resume amid the pandemic. Germany has recorded almost 6,000 coronavirus deaths.

Meanwhile, the Argentine football association will put an end to the 2019-20 season which has been interrupted since mid-March due to the pandemic, its president Claudio Tapia said on Monday.

“We are going to end the tournaments so we can designate the teams qualified for continental competitions next year,” Tapia told a local news channel.

The Argentine FA also said there will be no relegation this season or next due to the disruption caused by the health crisis.

Gimnasia, the club coached by Diego Maradona, will remain in the top division as a result. Relegation is calculated by a complicated system of points taken over a three-year period.

Boca Juniors won the league championship with a 1-0 victory over Gimnasia on the final day at the start of March.

The Copa Superliga, a 24-team tournament scheduled to finish with a play-off at the end of May, has been scrapped after just one round of games.

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Argentina has been in lockdown since March 20, with the quarantine restrictions in place until at least May 10.

Elsewhere, the Belgian Pro League says it has again deferred a decision on whether to end a season in limbo because of the coronavirus pandemic.

After a general meeting, the league announced that the decision had been put back until 4 May. 

The board of directors of the Pro League recommended on 2 April that the league be declared over, but this needed to be approved at a general meeting. One was scheduled for 15 April and then postponed first until 24 April and then to today (Monday).

The Pro League and the Belgian football federation said they want to know the position of the government before making a final decision.

A resumption seems impossible, however, as the Belgian government has banned all mass gatherings until August 31, and a match even behind closed doors would mobilise at least 400 people, according to the Belgian football federation. 

If the league is declared over, leaders Club Brugge would be declared champions with 11 matches unplayed.

© – AFP, 2020

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