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UPDATE: perhaps no fans allowed in Munich after all for Bundesliga opener between Bayern Munich, Schalke

A small percentage of fans will be allowed back in grounds right from the get-go.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga Photo by A. Hassenstein/Getty Images for FC Bayern

UPDATE: fans at Bayern vs Schalke doubtful

Despite the positive news earlier that the German government and the DFL intend to allow fans to return to arenas across Germany up to twenty percent capacity, Munich may have to wait. According to SkySport, the rate of coronavirus infections in Munich is currently too high. SkySport reports:

The seven-day incidence rate for Munich is currently 40.09. The representatives of the states had agreed on Tuesday not to allow any spectators if the seven-day incidence per 100,000 inhabitants at the match place is greater or equal to 35 and the occurrence transmission cannot clearly be limited.

Given the normal capacity of the Allianz Arena at 75,000 fans, some 15,000 fans would be allowed in under the DFL’s plan, but the game might have to be played entirely without fans after all on account of the high local incidence rate.

Per the results of virtual discussions between German states’s Chancellors and representatives from the DFL, home fans will partially be allowed back at stadiums in the Bundesliga right from the season opener between Bayern Munich and Schalke at the Allianz Arena (ESPN). No away fans are to be permitted, there will be no alcohol sales, and there will also be a ban on standing.

Bavaria Munich - FC Augsburg Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

At the current juncture, the number of fans who will be allowed inside venues has not been determined, but will be announced at some point in the near future. It is, however, generally understood that capacities in Germany will not exceed twenty percent.

All of the guidelines for this partial reintroduction of supporters were planned, drawn out, and agreed upon last month in order for this trial phase to be possible. All match attendees will be required to present contact-tracing details in the event of a new infection among the fans that have been let back in. All DFL clubs have also come up with their own hygiene and cleanliness protocols inside their grounds, which have all had to be approved by authorities at the local state level before fans could be allowed back in.

This weekend marked the first round of the DFB-Pokal and in some matches, fans were partially allowed in the stadiums. There were over 10,000 supporters inside the Glücksgas Stadium for Dynamo Dresden’s 4-1 win over Hamburger SV, and there were 300 fans at the MSV-Arena for Borussia Dortmund’s 5-0 win over MSV Duisburg. The difference in capacity between the two venues in different areas of the country is a glaring example of how decisions need to be made on a state-by-state basis when it comes to letting fans back into grounds.

Per ESPN sources, too, Dortmund Ultras have said they will not yet return to matches at this time. Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Ultras released a statement saying they also will not return, as reported by Bild. They said the guidelines in place do not allow for what they feel is a genuine fan culture during matches, especially in the sections of the stands where ultra groups usually congregate. They don’t want to return to stadiums until “pre-corona” times return, which could be a while off.

Borussia Moenchengladbach v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

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