‘Nothing can be decided’ says Hoeness as Bundesliga confronts crisis

By Arne Richter, dpa

Bayern Munich honorary president Uli Hoeness said “there is no handbook” on what to do next to deal with the coronavirus emergency on Sunday and called on football to be patient.

“We finally have to face reality. We have to wait four weeks, drive everything down to zero. Maybe we’ll have to stop playing football in October,” he said on Sport1 television.

Hoeness’ comments came on a weekend which has seen the Bundesliga, like other major leagues in Europe, suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The German Football League (DFL) board has recommended a suspension until April 2 as league members meet Monday to discuss the next stage.

“I think this meeting is important. But almost nothing can be decided,” Hoeness said.

“One can think about what will happen to the contracts that expire on June 30. But I can’t have plans in my drawer without knowing how to implement them.”

Hoeness said everyone in Germany now had to “slow down,” adding: “People have to learn to stay at home and play Monopoly.”

Bayer Leverkusen sports director Rudi Voeller said the Bundesliga must be the focus in Monday’s talks.

“The most important thing for football is clearly the national league. That will also be the most important thing at the meeting tomorrow,” he said.

“How can the national league continue to play, continue to exist? The rest of the Europa League, Champions League is behind that (in importance). And the European Championship is at the very back,” he said

Although the DFL board has recommended a suspension until April 2, Berlin’s Bundesliga clubs are facing a longer delay after a ban by city authorities.

Berlin is now banning all public and private events with more than 50 people until at least April 19 in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

That would affect Union Berlin’s home matches against Mainz on April 4 and Schalke on April 18, and Hertha Berlin’s game against Augsburg on April 11.

The league members are expected to discuss various scenarios at their meeting in Monday including the possibility of the season having to be cancelled.

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