FC Köln - Schalke 04

Germany: Bundesliga
FC Köln S. Bornauw (86)
RheinEnergieStadion1-0
Schalke 04
Lineup

Köln close to allowing in 500 fans for final match

By Peter Vice

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. 

RheinEnergieStadion.
RheinEnergieStadion.Photo: CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

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.

FC Köln
(4-2-3-1)
1Timo Horn
2Benno Schmitz ↩79
33Sebastiaan Bornauw
5Rafael Czichos
3Noah Katterbach
21Salih Özcan ↩79
14Jonas Hector (C)
31Marius Wolf ↩88
18Ondrej Duda
11Florian Kainz ↩58
9Sebastian Andersson ↩88
Bench
16Ron-Robert Zieler
7Toluwalase Arokodare
19Kingsley Ehizibue
22Jorge Meré
23Jannes-Kilian Horn ↪88
6Marco Höger ↪88
13Max Meyer ↪79
24Dominick Drexler ↪79
29Jan Thielmann ↪58
Schalke 04
(3-5-2)
1Ralf Fährmann (C)
31Timo Becker
26Salif Sané
30Shkodran Mustafi
38Mehmet-Can Aydin
36Blendi Idrizi ↩87
41Florian Flick
25Amine Harit
24Bastian Oczipka
18Gonçalo Paciência ↩72
43Matthew Hoppe ↩89
Bench
34Michael Langer
9Benito Raman ↪72
22Steven Skrzybski ↪87
2Kilian Ludewig
15Henning Matriciani
19Brooklyn Ezeh
49Vasíleios Pavlídis ↪89
28Alessandro Schöpf
45Jimmy Adrian Kaparos

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