'The games are boring without fans' - German forward Kruse critical of Bundesliga's return


German forward Max Kruse says the Bundesliga's return to play has been "boring" as the former Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen and Borussia Monchengladbach attacker criticised the league's attempt at social distancing.

The 32-year-old, currently featuring for Turkish side Fenerbahce, was among those to witness the return of football over the weekend as the Bundesliga became the first major European league to resume play in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The matches, played behind closed doors, provided a much different look and feel than that of usual German games, which tend to be heavily influenced by the country's famously passionate fans.

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Without those fans, Kruse says that matches have lost their shine as the veteran forward asked why the league was so eager to restart so soon. 

"The games were relatively boring without fans," he told ZDF Sport on Instagram Live. "Fans are part of football.

He added: "Why didn't you stop and then continue playing in August?"

Kruse, however, did say there was one big positives, adding that "the money is flowing again" as a result of the Bundesliga's return.

While the return to play has brought relief for some, it has also drawn confusion due to some of the league's social-distancing practices. 

Dedryck Boyata was accused of flouting social distancing advice and planting a kiss on his Hertha Berlin team-mate as part of a goal celebration over the weekend, only for the Hertha Berlin defender to claim he was giving Marko Grujic set-piece instructions

Players like Cesc Fabregas and Radamel Falcao, reduced to the role of fan as their leagues await a restart, questioned the ban on celebrating, pointing to the close-contact defending done throughout a typical match.

In addition, the league has put a temporary stop to pre-match handshakes, while players left on the bench sit distanced from each other and with masks covering their faces.

Many of those measures left players like Kruse confused about whether the policies in place are actually working as intended.

"I think there are some things there that you just have to scratch your head about," Kruse said.

"Substitutes wear face masks and sit two metres apart in the stands, they warm up with a mask, then when they're subbed on... it's no longer infectious? Or do I just not understand?"

Kruse also took to Twitter on Saturday to voice his frustration while watching the day's matches.

"Watching the Bundesliga is fun! Especially the rules of cheering: no physical contact when cheering but holding on to [opponents] on corners is not a problem," Kruse tweeted.

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