Lower leagues, German Cup matches could see fans

BERLIN (Reuters) - Matches in lower divisions, the women’s Bundesliga and the German Cup could potentially see the return of fans to stadiums this coming season, the German Football Association (DFB) said on Monday.

Fans remain banned from all matches in the top two Bundesliga divisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic until at least Oct. 31, while visiting fans are banned until the end of the year.

The DFB, however, said a limited number of spectators could be allowed back under certain conditions.

“For the third division, German Cup and women’s Bundesliga permission and number of spectators depend on regional decisions and clubs on site have to get approval from the relevant health authorities,” the DFB said in a statement.

“This means that at some locations there could be approval of fans whereas other clubs can have fewer or no fans at all at their home games.”

German authorities this month decided to extend a ban for spectators in stadiums at Bundesliga matches until at least the end of October.

Bundesliga games have an average attendance of about 42,000, the highest of any football league in the world.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond