Bundesliga restart gives hope to other leagues - Schalke's Wagner

Reuters
Bundesliga - Schalke 04 v TSG Hoffenheim
Bundesliga - Schalke 04 v TSG Hoffenheim

(Reuters) - The resumption of the German Bundesliga next weekend amid the COVID-19 crisis will give hope to other European leagues that they can also successfully return, according to Schalke 04 coach David Wagner.

The Bundesliga season will restart on May 16, making it the first European league to resume amid the pandemic that has infected more than 3.95 million people globally and killed more than 270,000.

Germany's top flight will resume under strict health protocols, with no fans allowed in stadiums and several matches, including the Ruhr valley derby between Borussia Dortmund and Wagner's Schalke, taking place on the relaunch day.

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"It's no surprise. The Germans are always very disciplined, looking straight forward and trying to quickly find solutions. Everybody follows rules, everything's on time, typical Germans," Wagner told The Times on Saturday.

Wagner, a friend of Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, said his German compatriot was looking at the progress in Germany with Premier League sides hoping to play matches in June once given the green light by the government.

Liverpool are two wins away from securing their first English league title in 30 years.

"This is why everybody looks to Germany and thinks, 'OK, if the Germans can do it, we at least have a chance to do it as well'. This is exactly what Juergen said to me," he added.

"All you guys in England are praying we get the Bundesliga back up and running because this will be a hopeful sign... and that even if you are maybe four to five weeks behind, you can get it done."

Wagner said it was strange to be playing when people are dying from the virus.

"But for me personally, I say, 'OK, we have to do our job and we like to save our business as well'," he added.


(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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