Italian and German football behind closed doors ‘until 2021’

TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 08: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus controls the ball during the Serie A match between Juventus and FC Internazionale at Allianz Stadium played behind closed doors after rules to limit the spread of Covid-19 have been put in place on March 8, 2020 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)

Although plans for football to resume in Italy and Germany by the end of next month are in progress, supporters could have to wait until 2021 to be allowed back in to stadiums.

Multiple media reports say the sports lockdown order in Italy will be eased from May 4, allowing players to train and resume fixtures from the end of May. Serie A wants to start playing games on May 31 and wrap the season up by July 12.

The Bundesliga is also looking for a restart soon. The chief executive of the German football league (DFL), Christian Seifert, told The New York Times the league is planning to restart at the beginning of May, with matches played behind closed doors at all 36 stadiums across its two leagues, allowing it to complete the season by the end of June.

Fans, however, will have to settle for watching games on television or online. According to Italian news website Sport Mediaset, a leaked Italian government document suggests fans will not be allowed into Italian stadiums until January 2021.

Seifert also suggested the usually packed stadiums in Germany would have to remain empty. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, football will be only available to watch on screen, and is likely to remain so until the end of the year, Seifert said.