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Bavarian Minister President Söder skeptical of plans to let fans attend games again

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Söder argues that allowing fans to return to stadiums would send a “bad signal” to the public.

Unscheduled videoconference of the Cabinet
Bavarian Minister President Markus Söder in Nürnberg, August 10, 2020.
Photo by Nicolas Armer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Markus Söder, minister president of Bavaria, spoke out against allowing fans to return to the stadiums of Bavaria for the beginning of the 2020/21 Bundesliga season. That naturally includes Bayern Munich (AZ).

In comments delivered at a Bavarian cabinet meeting in Nürnberg, Söder said, “I advocated the start of ghost games intensively — which is going great. But I’m extremely skeptical about full stadiums for the Bundesliga restart. I can’t imagine it at present,” Söder said. “I can imagine full stadiums perhaps during the season, but not at the beginning of the Bundesliga season.”

Citing the difficulties surrounding the upcoming school year and the arrival of fall weather, Söder feels that attended games would complicate an already delicate situation and moreover set a bad example: “It also isn’t smart to think about having an additional 20 or 25 thousand people in stadiums when we have the school year starting, when we have early autumn,” Söder said. “It would have had a devastating signal effect on the public. Both with respect to medical capacities and with respect to cultural events.”

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has previously voiced his hope that limited numbers of fans might be admitted to view games in the Allianz Arena, but Söder seems disinclined to permit it. “I think it is a bad signal to permit events with tens of thousands of people, especially only for soccer,” he said.