Bundesliga: Leipzig in the empty stadium, as a virus bites back in the Bundesliga – nach Welt

German soccer fans thought they were leaving the days of empty stadiums, but the coronavirus pandemic is not subsiding.

Record numbers of cases in Germany mean that one top club will again be playing without spectators and that others will have thousands fewer fans this weekend.

Leipzig is at the forefront of the latest wave of the pandemic in Germany in the eastern federal state of Saxony, where the infection rates are highest and the vaccination rates are the lowest compared to other regions. With intensive care facilities under pressure, government agencies have banned crowds from sporting events.

That means Leipzig will host the first game in the Bundesliga in an empty stadium for months when Bayer Leverkusen visited on Sunday. This also applies to his Champions League game against Manchester City next month. Clubs in other states are also increasingly restricted. FC Bayern Munich can only fill its stadium to 25% against Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.

A month ago the picture looked very different.

Germany’s vaccination program went well, and gaming entry requirements – which were generally restricted to people who were fully vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus, or who tested negative – were largely followed. Bavaria celebrated a full house with 75,000 for the first time since March 2020 on October 23, when it played against Hoffenheim.

Since then, the number of cases in German society has reached new record highs, and football has not got away either.

Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch and Goalkeeper Peter Gulasci won’t be at their empty stadium game against Leverkusen because the club said this week they tested positive. Of the four German clubs that play in the Champions League this week, at least one player was missing a positive test.

Leipzig shrugged its shoulders 5-0 demolition of the Belgian club Bruges on Wednesday, but questions remain about Marsch’s future as the club is seventh in the Bundesliga and cannot qualify for the Champions League round of 16.

Bavaria’s When the number of spectators is reduced, the team will try to get away from a shocking 2-1 defeat at. to recover Augsburg last week, which reduced the title lead to just one point. A flimsy Bayern squad clung to beating Dynamo Kiev 2-1 on Tuesday, but virus cases and Injuries mean coach Julian Nagelsmann has few tactical options and cannot rest key players. Against this background, Bielefeld, threatened with relegation, is becoming a trickier opponent.

Bayern’s worries deepened on Wednesday as a midfielder Joshua Kimmich and substitute striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting tested positive for the coronavirus. Kimmich became the face of the German vaccine reluctance debate and a political topic of conversation in parliament last month when he said in a television interview that he was not vaccinated and had reservations about vaccines against the virus.

Other clubs are on a collision course with their own players.



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