The future of the Bundesliga remains in the air amid a virus outbreak

BERLIN: with soccer teams in Germany resume training in small groups this week, there is optimism among some that the Bundesliga May resume in May.

Such hopes seem slim, however, with the coronavirus outbreak is not yet under control.

"It is clear that wherever people come into close contact with each other, at major events such as soccer games, or in clubs, it will take a long time before normality returns," Health Minister Jens Spahn said in an interview with the daily Handelsblatt on Thursday.

The country's two main divisions have been suspended until April. The last game was played on March 11.

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The 36 clubs from the two divisions agreed on March 31 that they want to complete the season by the end of June, almost certainly with no fans present and with a minimal workforce in an attempt to prevent further outbreaks of the virus. But any decision to return is not for clubs to make, forcing them to take a wait-and-see approach.

So far there have been a lot of considerations and thoughts, but no concrete plans for the resumption of Bundesliga games, Union Berlin spokesman Christian Arbeit told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Germany was the last of the five major leagues in Europe to suspend play. The decision was forced on soccer officials as some players contracted the virus before the 26th round could begin.

That round was to continue without fans in the stadiums. However, in the only German game played without a fan on March 11, hundreds gathered outside the stadium for the derby match between Borussia Monchengladbach and Cologne, defeating the purpose of stopping large gatherings of people.

State politicians and health officials will determine when, how and even if the Bundesliga can resume to complete the rest of the season.

Germany has recorded more than 113,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and attributed nearly 2,350 deaths to the disease.

The country has closed schools, bars, most stores, and has banned gatherings of more than two people in public with restrictions until at least April 19.

German chancellor Angela Merkel He warned on Thursday that the situation is fragile and that we could destroy very, very quickly what we have achieved.

Merkel will discuss the way forward with the governors of the country's 16 states next Wednesday, but so far officials have been reluctant to discuss the details of a possible exit strategy. They have made it clear that any return to normal will be gradual and gradual.

"Developments in the weeks ahead will be shaped by external factors such as the spread of the virus and the political response," the German soccer league said in a statement.

There are 163 games to be played in the two main divisions to complete the season. The clubs will meet again to discuss the situation on April 17.

All those who make predictions about a possible start to the games are quacks. All the quacks, ex Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness he told Kicker magazine on March 26. No one knows exactly how long it will take.