Fans barred from Bundesliga opener at Bayern Munich

Fans will not be allowed into the stadium when Bayern Munich hosts the opening game of the Bundesliga season because of a local spike in coronavirus cases, the mayor of Munich said Thursday.

Bayern had hoped to have 7,500 supporters at the Allianz Arena to face Schalke on Friday with social-distancing measures in place as part of a nationwide six-week trial to allow fans at up to 20% of stadium capacity.

It would have been the first German league game with fans since March.

“It would be the wrong signal ... to allow spectators back into sports stadiums,” Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter said in a statement.

Games in other cities are scheduled to proceed with fans on Saturday and Sunday.

Reiter's decision came after the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s national disease control center, recorded a rate of 47.6 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Munich over a seven-day period.

“I understand the fans and clubs who were already happy to once again be there live and to enjoy a bit of soccer atmosphere, if they can't comprehend this decision,” Reiter said. “But even with the best hygiene concept we cannot explain to people, against the background of the current rise in numbers, why they still need to be careful if the stadiums are opening up for spectators again at the same time.”

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