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Virologist: Bundesliga restart in May possible in ‘special bubble’

Bundesliga games could resume behind closed doors in May if a "special bubble" is created for footballers, a German virologist said late Saturday.

Bundesliga games could resume behind closed doors in May if a “special bubble” is created for footballers, a German virologist said late Saturday.

But virologist Alexander Kekule also said that it remains to be seen whether such preferential treatment would be accepted by society amid the coronavirus-related lockdown measures.

German football has been suspended since mid-March, currently until April 30, with nine rounds left in the top flight Bundesliga.

Clubs hope to complete the season to avoid huge financial hits, with losses of up to 750 million euros (811 million dollars), mainly from television income, expected if the season has to be abandoned.

There appears to be a consensus that play would only be possible in empty stadiums and with strict health regulations for players, and Kekule told public broadcasters ZDF it could be done.

“The problem can be solved virologically. But only if you create a special bubble for the football players,” Kekule said.

He said teams would have to be in special quarantine and that some 20,000 tests would be needed for constant checks.

Kekule said that footballers are not a high-risk group to contract the Sars-CoV-2 virus but warned that “you must also consider how to explain to the people that football is getting special treatment.”

The virologist from the eastern German city of Halle also reiterated that games behind closed doors would be the only way to play football for the rest of the year.

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