Germany captain Manuel Neuer hailed the decision to restart Bundesliga and said that they now have “an enormous responsibility” on their shoulders to begin playing again with all possible precautions.
The Bundesliga is all set to become the first of Europe’s top soccer leagues to get under way following the novel coronavirus stoppage after the government said on Wednesday that it could re-start in the second half of May.
“People will be looking at us from other European countries, indeed all over the world,” Neuer told Frankfurt-based newspaper FAZ.
“This is an enormous responsibility for us, which we must be aware of with every fiber. It is now up to us.” The DFL has drawn up detailed plans to restart and Neuer, captain and goalkeeper of defending champions Bayern Munich, sees the medical concept as the “best possible” way forward.
“Now it is up to each individual at each club to bring this concept to life in a disciplined manner.”
He said the players must ensure the league returns successfully.
“We are particularly responsible for tens of thousands of jobs in diverse industries that live with, and through, football,” Neuer added.
“And we are responsible for all those fans for whom football is a big part of their lives.”
The government said the Bundesliga and second-tier 2. Bundesliga could restart without spectators, adding that the German soccer league (DFL) would decide on the exact dates.
Chancellor Angela Merkel made the announcement, which had been widely expected, as part of measures to begin easing the country’s lockdown aimed at halting the spread of the virus.
The DFL is due to hold an assembly with its 36 member clubs on Thursday followed by a news conference in which more details are expected to be given.
“Today’s decision is good news for the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga,” said DFL chief executive Christian Seifert.
“It comes with a great responsibility for the clubs and their employees to implement the medical and organisational requirements in a disciplined manner.”