Dortmund - Schalke 04

Germany: Bundesliga
Dortmund M. Akanji (55), E. Håland (61), M. Hummels (78)
Schalke 04

Watzke on second lockdown: "We at least need the 'ghost games'"

By Peter Vice

As the German Bundesrepublik awaits the release of the weekend's latest infection numbers (which generally tend to be a large batch) German footballing club representative step up their efforts to lobby against a second shutdown.

BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke had the strongest words over the weekend.

Hans-Joachim Watzke.
Hans-Joachim Watzke.Photo: Marco Verch, CC BY-SA 2.0

Finding himself in the ZDF studios after his club's 1-0 win over Hoffenheim this weekend, Dortmund boss Hans-Joachim Watkze brought up the topic of "populist football bashing." In the view of the Schwarzgelben's chief officer, an opinionated current threatened to unfairly provoke a new lockdown hiatus similar to that which took place last spring.

"If all of our fellow citizens had behaved in the same exemplary manner as spectators in [Bundesliga] stadiums have behaved thus far, we'd have significantly fewer worries," he noted. In praising the adherence to Hygiene of limited spectator contingents across the country, Watzke claimed that "not a single corona-case has been proven to result from the games thus far."

Watzke's blanket assertion is almost assuredly false, but it is at the very least true that no infection clusters from Bundesliga stadiums have been publicized.

Watkze, a CDU-member since the age of 16, took the opportunity to address Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent statement that "there are currently more important matters before the country than Bundesliga matches in front of spectators."

"Of course there are more important matters," Watzke argued, "but, it's not a question of importance. It's a matter of potential for danger, and this has not been evident in the games with limited spectators."

Watzke also added that Bundesliga clubs, "need to make money at some point" and warned that "insolvencies will result from a second lockdown."

The current infection rates almost certainly mean that all spectators will be shut out of all matches soon. It has already been revealed that Dortmund's Revierderby clash against Schalke next weekend will be a full Geisterspiel."

"We at least need the ghost games," he emphaized, "otherwise matters will get very tight."

1Roman Bürki
24Thomas Meunier ↩80
16Manuel Akanji
15Mats Hummels (C)
13Raphaël Guerreiro
8Mahmoud Dahoud ↩71
6Thomas Delaney
7Jadon Sancho ↩77
19Julian Brandt ↩77
32Giovanni Reyna ↩71
9Erling Håland
35Marwin Hitz
11Marco Reus ↪77
2Mateu Morey ↪80
26Łukasz Piszczek
10Thorgan Hazard ↪77
22Jude Bellingham
28Axel Witsel ↪71
30Felix Passlack ↪71
Schalke 04
23Frederik Rønnow
33Malick Thiaw
26Salif Sané
5Matija Nastasić
2Kilian Ludewig
25Amine Harit
6Omar Mascarell (C)
10Nabil Bentaleb ↩56
24Bastian Oczipka
18Gonçalo Paciência ↩56
14Rabbi Matondo ↩71
34Michael Langer
9Benito Raman ↪71
11Vedad Ibišević
15Ahmed Kutucu ↪56
22Steven Skrzybski
3Hamza Mendyl
17Benjamin Stambouli
28Alessandro Schöpf
40Can Bozdogan ↪56

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