Union Berlin can welcome fans to Bundesliga finale

By Holger Schmidt and Thomas Wolfer, dpa

Union Berlin could secure European qualification with the backing of 2,000 fans on Saturday when they conclude the Bundesliga campaign against RB Leipzig.

In light of sinking coronavirus infection numbers in Berlin, the application has already been approved by local authorities, the BZ newspaper reported Monday. A Berlin senate spokesperson confirmed this to dpa.

Union said on Sunday they would conduct a ticket ballot among fans before the result of their application was known. They and other Berlin sports clubs already have hygiene plans to re-admit fans from March when pilot projects were halted due to rising infection numbers.

Should seventh-placed Union beat Leipzig they will be guaranteed entry to the Europa Conference League next season.

Elsewhere third-division Hansa Rostock will hope to secure promotion at home to Luebeck on Saturday in front of 7,500 fans but Cologne will be behind closed doors in their crucial Bundesliga match with Schalke.

Cologne had hoped to welcome a few fans back for the likely must-win clash with Schalke but the infection rate of their North Rhine-Westphalia region means this is not possible.

They could also end up in a relegation play-off against the third-place side from the second division, in which case chief executive Alexander Wehrle said they would again try to have fans attend if possible.

Dortmund and Bochum, other cities in the region, also have rates which would end the chance of fans attending Bundesliga and second division matches there at the weekend.

And the Abendzeitung paper reported fans would also not be allowed to attend Bayern Munich’s last game of the season against Augsburg, meaning the Bundesliga champions will have played all 18 home games this season behind closed doors.

Some clubs, when infection numbers were not so high, were able to have limited numbers of fans in stadiums earlier in the campaign.

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