German football facing its biggest ever crisis – Borussia Dortmund CEO Watzke

The Bundesliga is set to be postponed until April due to coronavirus, but the official feels “other approaches” could have been used

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke believes German football is facing “the greatest crisis in its history” as it attempts to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The German Football League (DFL) confirmed on Friday that all Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga matches have been cancelled until at least April 2.

That followed an earlier announcement that games would go ahead as planned behind closed doors this weekend, leading to criticism from Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara.

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“To @DFL_Official: irresponsible, imprudent. This is crazy. Please stop fooling around and land on reality. Let’s be honest, there are much more important priorities than any sport,” the former Barcelona man Tweeted.

Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge defended the DFL’s initial decision to play one more round of fixtures, warning of the impact to smaller clubs if the season ended prematurely.

And Watzke agrees “other approaches” should have been taken, with clubs set to meet on Monday to discuss further postponements.

“The Presidium of the DFL has made a decision that needs to be respected – regardless of the fact that there would have been other approaches,” he said in a club statement.

“We all have to do this together in solidarity and discuss the corresponding derivations on Monday. 

“Nevertheless, it also applies – depending on what will be decided on Monday – that German professional football is in the greatest crisis in its history. 

“It is to be hoped that the Bundesliga clubs have built up so much substance in recent years that everyone will survive this crisis. 

“An existential threat to Borussia Dortmund can be excluded according to everything we can assess today.”

Dortmund, who were due to face bitter rivals Schalke on Saturday, are second in the Bundesliga and four points adrift of leaders Bayern.

The Bundesliga is far from the only major European league to come to a halt over the health fears surrounded by coronavirus, however. There will be no football played in any of the continent’s biggest league’s, with the exception of Turkey, which has officially remained largely untouched by the health scare thus far. 

UEFA has also postponed the Champions League and Europa League indefinitely, with Euro 2020 under question, too.

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