At a time when the Bundesliga authorities are fearing large gatherings outside the venues when the season resumes behind closed doors, the German Football League (DFL) CEO Christian Seifert has placed his trust on the fans.
The Bundesliga clubs and authorities have appealed to the fans to stay away from the stadiums and issued mild warnings as well that the matches could be halted if a large crowd gathers outside.
However, the DFL CEO is not expecting the fans to play into the hands of critics who fear they will mass outside grounds despite large public events being banned in Germany.
“I don’t believe that the fan scene and the fan organisations will do their critics… the favour of behaving in exactly the way” that those doomsayers fear,” Seifert said as quoted by PTI via AFP.
Seifert said that they were taking every reasonable step to urge fans to not flock around outside the venues during the matches. However, he admitted that “the DFL’s responsibility ends at a certain point”.
Meanwhile, the fears of the authorities have been further alleviated by the fact that on the very first day of Bundesliga’s resumption, Borussia Dortmund will host FC Schalke 04 in Revierderby, which generally attracts over 82,000 fans at the Signal Iduna Park.
Thus, Germany, which has the highest average attendance per game in the world, keeping fans away would be a hard nut to crack, accepted the authorities.
In Saxony, where third-placed RB Leipzig will host mid-table Freiburg on Saturday afternoon, the state’s Interior Minister Roland Woeller has issued a clear threat.
“Fans must not use matches behind closed doors as an excuse to gather in front of the stadiums or elsewhere. This could lead to matches being stopped,” Woeller was quoted as saying by PTI via AFP.
Eintracht Frankfurt have made compassionate appeals to their fans to not break the rules of social distancing. “We’ve talked a lot with our fans and said: ‘listen guys, don’t show up at the stadium’,” Frankfurt’s sports director Fredi Bobic told ESPN.