Germany: Bundesliga
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FC Köln
Schalke 04
S. Bornauw (86)
By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Köln close to allowing in 500 fans for final match

In their do-or-die final match against the already relegated Schalke, FC Köln may be permitted to let 500 supporters into the RheinEnergieStadion next Saturday. 

While this minuscule number may seem inconsequential, the small group would constitute a huge step in the quest to allow live fans back into a Bundesliga match for the first time since October 2020. 
It looks increasingly likely that the Bundesrepublik's way out of lockdown will proceed with begin with small outdoor events being allowed if the local incidence rate falls below a seven-day-average of 100 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. This is a very different metric stabilizer from the 35 per 100,000 inhabitants under which the country operated under last autumn.

FC Köln managing director Alexander Wehrle confirmed on Sunday that the cathedral city had been selected by the German state of Nordrhein-westfalen as a municipality fit for a special pilot project. Die Geißböcke have received approval to let 500 COVID-tested spectators through the turnstiles next Sunday, provided that the incident rate remains below 100.

This is by no means a forgone conclusion. According to the latest data from Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung, Köln currently averages a number of 89.8. Cases typically spike on Mondays as new data comes in from over the weekend. Wehrle revealed that the cutoff point for the decision to let the fans in will come on Thursday.

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