Schalke thank healthcare workers with match tickets

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bundesliga club Schalke 04 will distribute some of their 300 tickets for the first two home matches of the season to healthcare professionals and senior home workers to thank them for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic, the club said.

Schalke got the green light from the local health authority to allow initially up to 300 spectators for every home game inside the 62,000-capacity Auf Schalke Arena.

For the German Cup first round game against Schweinfurt next week and their first Bundesliga home game on Sept. 26 against Werder Bremen many of the 300 in the stands will be healthcare workers.

“In this way Schalke 04 want to thank them for their invaluable and crucial work, especially in the difficult conditions during this ongoing pandemic,” the club said in a statement on Tuesday.

The previous Bundesliga season was interrupted for two months between March and May and resumed without fans.

RB Leipzig were the first Bundesliga team to be allowed to let fans into the stadium after they got the all-clear last week to admit as many as 8,500 people for their home matches in the new season.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Hugh Lawson