Bundesliga: German crowds to be reduced after Covid-19 restrictions reintroduced

The Red Bull Arena, home of RB Leipzig
Manchester City’s Champions League game at RB Leipzig will be played behind closed doors

Bundesliga matches can only have an attendance of up to 50% and a maximum of 15,000 after Germany reintroduced Covid-19 restrictions on Thursday.

Outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel and her successor Olaf Scholz agreed with the leaders of Germany’s 16 states on several measures being put in place.

They include reducing fans at outdoor and indoor sports events, amid rising cases of Covid infections.

Most German stadiums had been operating at near-full capacity this season.

Fans must also wear masks, and in states where infection figures are high, sports events must be cancelled, the government said.

German authorities fear a fourth wave of Covid risks overwhelming intensive care units. On Thursday, the daily figures were reported as more than 73,000 new infections and 388 deaths.

Earlier, the premier of the southern state of Bavaria had called for matches to go ahead without fans.

He also said that if necessary, Bavaria – home to defending champions Bayern Munich – would go it alone and implement the step.

The state of Saxony had already gone into partial lockdown, meaning Manchester City’s Champions League group game at RB Leipzig on 7 December will take place behind closed doors.

“A temporary limit on the number of fans in the stadium is understandable,” said Christian Seifert, chief executive of the German Football League (DFL).

“The DFL hopes that this decision by the federal government and the states leads to an improvement of the pandemic situation.”