Coronavirus: German sports minister backs May restart for Bundesliga despite positive tests at Cologne

Horst Seehofer said clubs would not have any special testing privileges denied to the rest of the population

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Germany's minister for the interior and sport said he supports a resumption of the country's football season this month despite the coronavirus epidemic.

The German Football League (DFL) backs a resumption of matches without spectators around mid-May, which would make it the first major European championship to make such a move.

"I find the schedule proposed by the German league plausible and I support the restart in May," Horst Seehofer told Bild newspaper, three days before a meeting of German authorities to discuss the issue.

Seehofer, who plays a key government role on the issue as he holds several portfolios, has emphasised that the teams and players must respect several conditions.

"If there is a case of coronavirus in a team or its management, the club as a whole, and eventually also the team against which it last played, must go into quarantine for two weeks," he said.

"There will continue therefore to be risks for the schedule of matches and for the classification," if there is any contamination.

But he said clubs would not have any special testing privileges denied to the rest of the population. Some sides had suggested carrying out frequent tests of their players as a preventative measure against the virus.

Many Bundesliga clubs have been back in training for the past few weeks, although players and staff have been adhering to social distancing measures.

Meanwhile, plans for an early May return hit a potential obstacle on Saturday when three people tested positive for coronavirus at Cologne and were placed into a 14-day quarantine.