German handball season abandoned over Covid-19

The German handball season was abandoned on Tuesday because of the coronavirus pandemic and THW Kiel declared champions, the HBL league has said.

The Bundesliga and second division seasons were suspended in March and the 36 clubs now agreed not to restart. A special coefficient was used to decide the champion while no teams were relegated.

“Most clubs had given up on the season anyway,” HBL chief Uwe Schwenker told dpa.

The HBL expects losses of some 25 million euros (27.2 million dollars) because the final seven rounds couldn’t be played.

Clubs had initially hoped to play again in mid-May but with mass gatherings prohibited until August 31, and handball mainly relying on ticket sales and sponsorship income rather than that from television, the decision to abandon was taken.

Last month, the German ice hockey and volley leagues also abandoned action, without naming champions. Another bigger indoor sport, basketball, is yet to make a final decision.

Germany’s football Bundesliga and second tier could meanwhile resume next month and complete their seasons behind closed doors. Football clubs get most of their income from TV broadcasts.

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