Germany’s plans to restart competitive football next Saturday suffered an early setback after the entire Dynamo Dresden team were placed in a two-week quarantine following two positive coronavirus tests among the players.
The Bundesliga 2 club announced on their website that tests taken on Friday had revealed two new positive cases and local health authorities had ordered the team into quarantine. Dresden were scheduled to play Hannover 96 next Sunday in their first game back following the stoppage caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
“After an intensive analysis of the situation, the health authority in Dresden … decided on Saturday that the entire second division squad, including the coaching and support team, must now go into a 14-day quarantine at home,” the club said. “Due to the quarantine measures, [we] will not be able to travel to Lower Saxony for the away game on matchday 26 as planned.”
Dynamo’s sporting director, Ralf Minge, said: “In the past few weeks, we have made enormous efforts in terms of personnel and logistics in order to strictly implement all the prescribed medical and hygienic measures. We are in contact with the responsible health authority and the DFL [German Football League] to coordinate all further steps. The fact is that we can neither train nor participate in the game in the next 14 days.”
The Bundesliga announced this week that it would restart on 16 May after the government gave its approval. The league has drawn up a detailed set of regulations and guidelines for training and matches to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus, including stringent testing. However, the question of how to respond to positive tests is out of the hands of the league as German law states any response to cases is a matter for the local health authority.
The league has been on hold since mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak which has brought football to a standstill around the world and Germany’s progress is being closely watched by other leagues.
On Monday, the DFL said it had registered 10 positive cases in a blanket test of 1,724 players and staff at its 36 first and second division clubs.