By Nehru Odeh
Plans are underway to make Bundesliga players wear masks during matches as the league plans its return to the pitch in spite of the coronavirus lockdown.
According to Daily Mail Online, leaked documents from the Ministry of Labour in Germany have revealed plans to equip the players with masks to be worn throughout a match. But with a caveat: matches will be stopped if the masks ‘slip off’. Players must also not touch the masks with their hands during a match, revealed Spiegel Sports.
The reports also proposed that each match be stopped ‘every 15 minutes at the latest’ to replace the masks due to ‘increased breathing volume’ that will make them unusable much quicker than usual. The mask swaps will be labeled as ‘short game breaks’ in which every player should remain 1.5 metres away from each other. The documents went on to demand that any unnecessary contact such as hugging after scoring goals or small wrangling around the ball will not be permitted and the referee can take action.
The list of requirements created by the Ministry of Labour remains a ‘first draft’ ahead of the leagues scheduled return on May 9. Earlier in the week, Bundesliga bosses signed off on the May comeback with all matches to be played behind closed doors. For the return to take place, all of the 1,100 players will require testing for covid-19 and stringent hygiene precautions are being made – such as players washing their own kit.
“The Bundesliga is ready to resume, no matter whether on May 9 or a later date. But it’s not up to us to find a date. The political decision makers decide.
‘We have not defined an exact date today. The fact that we are even able to think about resuming games underlines the performance of the German authorities.’ Christian Seifert, Bundesliga chief, said.