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Bundesliga News

Salihamidzic speaks on new Bavarian restrictions, vaccine mandates, and Kimmich

By Peter Vice

The Bavaria vs. Bavaria fixture that kicked off the Bundesliga's 12th round came against the backdrop of some of the biggest corona-related news in the rapidly shutting-down Bundesrepublik.

Bavarian governor Markus Söder (CDU) confirmed sweeping restrictions across the state on Friday. These include drastic reductions in spectator allowances for football clubs and even the possibility that some Bavarian hosting teams may have to cancel their matches in the upcoming weeks.

Söder also joined several other high-ranking German officials in calling for a vaccine requirement among all professional athletes.

Shortly before kickoff in Augsburg on Friday night, FC Bayern München sporting director Hasan Salihamadzic spoke on the new restrictions, the issue of vaccine mandates and the Joshua Kimmich situation.

Hasan Salihamidzic.
Hasan Salihamidzic.

Less than a day after a major national summit meeting radically altered the dynamic of Germany's winter COVID-related regulations, matters are already shifting rapidly again. On Friday afternoon, Bavarian Premier Markus Söder announced sweeping new regulations for his state. Bavaria will implement its governors plans for a "de-facto" lockdown that restricts the activities of the unvaccinated.

As pertains to the state's football clubs (FC Augsburg, SpVgg Greuther Fürth, and FC Bayern München) an attendance capacity cap of 25 percent will be reinstated. The practical application of this re-instituted rule, which applies through December 15th, means that (for example) Bayern will only be allowed a maximum of 18,750 spectators at the Allianz.

The new attendance caps do not apply to this weekend's matches. All Bavarian clubs in all footballing tiers have nevertheless already taken measures to comply in all their remaining fixtures. Tickets have been refunded. Online kiosks have revoked sale opportunities.

Söder also announced that, in addition to the automatic triggers involving hospitalization rates, Bavaria would also enter a hard lockdown if local incidence rates surpass 1000 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in a seven-day-period. Such this occur, sporting events in affected areas will have to be cancelled outright.

Speaking to the interview team for German broadcaster DAZN, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamdzic obviously had to address the omnipresent topic of corona before answering questions about anything else.

"We will abide by whatever they decide," Salihamidzic said of the new regulations, "We must accept all the laws."

Asked whether this applied to a potential vaccine requirements for all footballers, Salihamidzic replied "yes."

"We have to get along with this situation and make the best of it," Salihamidzic noted when asked to elaborate on the situation of quarantined midfielder Joshua Kimmich, who will miss the coming UCL clash as well, "It's like this. Right now, there is no obligation to vaccinate."

"The club's stance and my own personal one is that we should all get vaccinated because it's the only way out of the pandemic," the 44-year-old took care to stress, "I've done it."

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