By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Three NRW clubs file legal challenge on fan return

With Germany's relatively new federal governing regime still not prepared to enact sweeping nationwide COVID-related statutes, there North-Rhine Westphalian German Bundesliga clubs are following RB Leipzig's lead and filing legal motions to get their attendance caps raised. 
Borussia Dortmund, 1. FC Köln, and DSC Arminia Bielefeld all filed legal motions on deadline day as part of their effort to permit more live spectators permitted back in their stadiums. On the state-level, there has been much movement in the past week with most of Germany's federal states relaxing corona-related restrictions that were re-implemented last December.

While Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, and the Rhineland Palatinate are all officially preparing to allow in significantly large crowds back into stadiums once the league returns, the status of Germany's footballing hotbed remains stuck. The federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia--home to seven Bundesliga clubs--remains unchanged. Only 750 spectators live are permitted into outdoor venues under the current rules.

The three Bundesliga clubs in question are--just like RB Leipzig in Saxony--appealing to a regional administrative high court. Köln, Dortmund, and Bielefeld want the circuit court in the German city of Münster to overturn the current restrictions based on "violations of the principles of proportionality and equal treatment."

In essence, the three clubs argue that some of NRW's existing corona-protection statutes--such as those permitting higher attendance caps at indoor concert venues--render current regulations "legally incomprehensible". Moreover, the disproportionate regulations in other German federal states enable those in North-Rhine Westphalia to ask the court for clarification as to why their governing regime chooses to act differently.

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