March 13, 2020 / 1:51 PM / 17 days ago

Soccer-Bundesliga proposes suspension after weekend

March 13 (Reuters) - Germany’s Bundesliga, the only one of the big five European soccer leagues still being played amid the coronavirus outbreak, could also be suspended from next Tuesday following a proposal from its executive committee.

The league also appealed to supporters not to gather outside the stadiums over the course of the weekend when all matches will be played without spectators.

“The German Football League (DFL) executive committee will propose to a general assembly next Monday that the games of both leagues (the Bundesliga and the second tier Bundesliga 2) be suspended from Tuesday up to and including 2 April,” the DFL said in a statement.

“The goal is still to finish the season by the summer - from a sporting point of view, but especially because an early end to the season could have consequences that could threaten the existence of some clubs.”

Nine matches are due to be played between Friday and Monday including the Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.

Paderborn, who were due to visit Fortuna Duesseldorf on Friday, said that coach Stefan Baumgart had undergone a test for coronavirus after displaying symptoms of the disease.

“We are waiting for results over the course of the afternoon,” the club said on Twitter.

The DFL said it was “appealing for people not to gather outside the stadiums either, thus doing their bit to protect the population. The clubs will reduce the number of personnel needed for the match to a minimum on the coming match day.”

The problem happened at a number of European club matches played behind closed doors this week, including Valencia, Paris St Germain and Olympiakos.

Bayern midfielder Thiago Alcantara criticised the decision to carry on playing at the weekend.

“This is crazy. Please stop fooling around and land on reality,” he said on Twitter. “Let’s be honest, there are much more important priorities than any sport.” (Writing by Brian Homewood Editing by Toby Davis)

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