Day Four of Germany's federally-sanctioned end to the "Geisterpiel Era" arrives. Two major developments on Friday alter the plans initially put in place for the weekend.
|RheinEnergieStadion.||Photo: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas|
Köln Cancels Spectators
Köln joins Bayern as the second club having the dubious honor of saying "nevermind". An unfortunately-timed increase in infections forced the Geißböcke to call off plans to allow just over 9,000 season-ticket-holders through the RheinEnergieStadium turnstiles. In Köln's case, the seven-day-running average of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants rose from 31.1 on Thursday to 34.8 on Friday.
Club supporters are surely sorely disappointed by this. As has been explained multiple times in this space, the RKI COVID stabilizer is 35 per 100,000 inhabitants. Evidently, the city considered it too close to call.
The city issued a short statement on Friday night, announcing "no spectators will be allowed at the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs. Köln match." Little else was offered in terms of an explanation for the somber occasion, other than that the state of NordRhein Westfallen was also involved in the decision.
Stuttgart Tightens Restrictions
The federal recommendations, and indeed every individual club concept thus far, has only required that spectators wear a mask when moving to and from their designated seats. The Freiburg-Stuttgart match will make an additional demand of attendees; one that honestly sounds almost impossible to enforce.
In accordance with the state regulations of Baden-Württemberg, which produced its own "Corona Sports Ordinance", masks will be required at all times. Some 8,000 spectators will be expected to fully comply with the directive for the full length of their stay within the venue.