By Jordan Raza, dpa
Munich (dpa) – The key words are 2G or 3G, or even a mixture, as German football clubs aim to fill their stadiums as much as possible or even to full capacity again like for instance in England amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Some like champions Bayern Munich opt for a 3G concept which means that vaccinated, recovered and tested people can attend games.
Others like Borussia Dortmund chose to only allow vaccinated and recovered people in, known as 2G. Mainz have a 2G-plus policy with a small section for tested fans along with the main areas for the vaccinated and recovered.
The phrases are short for the German words for vaccinated, recovered and tested (geimpft, genesen, getested).
Health authorities allowed clubs to fill their stadiums to 50 per cent or with a maximum 25,000 fans at the start of the season.
But now the clubs want more, given that cultural events with a 2G concept can sell out their venues again.
“It is about time that ‘Team Caution’ doesn’t become ‘Team Unworldly,'” German Football League chief Christian Seifert has warned.
A decision Tuesday from Hamburg’s governing senate is given clubs hope because it is allowing local second division sides SV Hamburg and St Pauli to fill their areans to full capacity with a 2G concept.
“If the majority of the spectators is vaccinated and the children tested then I consider football games in well-filled stadiums a reasonable risk,” Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told Sunday paper Welt am Sonntag.
Constitutionalist Bjoern Schiffbauer agrees because he says that the 2G concept ensures public health and “therefore it would be disproportionate to limit the freedom of clubs and spectators.”
However, not all clubs are following 2G with Mainz board chief Stefan Hofmann telling the Bild paper that “we don’t want to exclude those who are only tested.” But Schiffbauer said clubs will have trouble filling their stadiums again without 2G.
Clubs that follow 2G rules are considering legal action but Schiffbauer warns that a lawsuit won’t change everything because the 16 federal states are responsible for health measures and that he rather expects a joint effort from the federal political side.
German health Minister Jens Spahn said recently that numbers of vaccinated and recovered people can be calculated in a different way than those of tested people.
Clubs also want to return to normal because they are fearing that fans are getting more and more used to watching games on TV instead of in the stadium, as some like Hoffenheim have not sold out their allowed contingent.
Greuther Fuerth coach Stefan Leitl spoke of “uncertainty” among many fans – a feeling that could be eased by an increase of attendance in the wake of the decision in Hamburg.