Coronavirus forces first Bundesliga game behind closed doors


The local grudge match, which was rescheduled last month due to Storm Ciara, will be the first game in the history of the German top flight to take place in the absence of fans. 

Bundesliga games had been going ahead as usual, even as the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus continued to rise in Germany, passing 1,000 on Monday.

Yet on Sunday, the country's health minister Jens Spahn requested that all events with more than 1,000 people be cancelled "until further notice".

German Football League (DFL) chief Christian Seifert warned Sunday that "the season must end by mid-May" in order to ensure clarity over promotion, relegation and qualification for international competition.

The decision to close stadium doors will ultimately be made on a case-by-case basis by regional authorities.

The DFL has said it will look into measures to compensate clubs for lost ticket revenues. 

Borussia Dortmund will also play in an empty stadium on Wednesday, after police in Paris ordered their Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain to be played behind closed doors.

Yet supporters of RB Leipzig and Tottenham Hotspur will be allowed to attend the second leg of their last 16 tie on Tuesday.