German clubs set to quarantine to finish pandemic-hit season

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German soccer teams will be confined to “quarantine training camps” so the season can be finished on time after a spate of coronavirus cases sidelined teams and put pressure on the schedule.

Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin and three second-division clubs have all had to postpone games this month after virus outbreaks in their squads. More cases could mean there’s no time to reschedule before the leagues have to close for the European Championship in June.

The German Football League, which oversees the top two men’s divisions, said on Thursday it will mandate “quasi quarantine” from May 3, with players and staff allowed to spend time only at home or at club facilities. From May 12, they’ll move into a “quarantine training camp” shut off from the outside world for the last two rounds of games.

The Bundesliga is due to end on May 22 but more time is needed to hold promotion-relegation playoffs before clubs release players for Euro 2020.

Hertha had to postpone three games and cancel team training for two weeks after the virus spread through the squad, with coach Pal Dardai among those infected.

That means a busy schedule for a team which is facing possible relegation. Hertha will return to action on May 3 against Mainz and will play four games in the space of 10 days to May 12 after the games were rescheduled by the league on Thursday.

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