AAP Soccer

German Bundesliga delayed til late April

By AAP Newswire

The German football league (DFL) board has recommended extending the suspension of the Bundesliga during the coronavirus epidemic until at least April 30.

Currently suspended until April 2, there is no realistic chance of football resuming then with the country in lockdown and public gatherings banned.

The board decided on the recommendation during a video conference in preparation for a meeting of the 36 teams in the top two divisions on March 31.

It is hoped to somehow complete the season by June 30 using time created by the postponement of Euro 2020 to next year.

Several clubs have agreed salary reductions with players and officials with up to 750 million euros ($A1.4 billion) at stake in television, sponsorship and gate money should the league not be finished.

The DFL, citing responsibility to clubs facing existential danger and 56,000 direct and indirect jobs in football, said it was "working intensively on concepts to play games," if needed "with a minimum workforce" in the stadium and excluding fans.

The Bundesliga last played on March 11 before the league was suspended on a muddled weekend which saw some games pencilled in to be played behind closed doors while health authorities in certain states said they could not take place at all.

Finding a suitable, and safe, way to end the seasons in Germany and elsewhere in Europe is a major priority to avoid both financial ruin and controversy over titles, promotion and relegation.

The DFL board also said the tender for the next batch of media rights would be postponed so it could focus on the challenge of the coronavirus crisis.