BERLIN, German | XINHUA | Germany’s Champions League participants fear facing a challenging 2020/2021 season due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In fact, we’re still waiting for legal guidelines to run the games,” Dortmund’s sports director Michael Zorc complained.
It must be safe to play domestic league games at the weekend after playing midweek Champions League games in areas with high infection rates, Zorc added. “It seems half of the big cities might be regarded as risk areas.”
According to new UEFA regulations, clubs must name alternative venues when local health authorities implement restrictions affecting travel before and after games.
In case of infections within club ranks, clubs must ensure at least a 13-man squad to compete in games.
Due to individual federal states’ regulations, Germany’s Champions League representatives – Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach – have to deal with varying restrictions.
Depending on the different rules, players and staff might have to submit themselves to a five-day quarantine period. The rules are valid for all travel. Hertha BSC’s Krzysztof Piatek, for instance, missed the first round of the German Cup after playing in an international match with Poland.
The clubs are hoping for similar rules set up for the German national team ahead of internationals in October, including a game in Kiev.
Germany’s players and staff are allowed to enter Cologne in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia after negative tests without having to undergo quarantine.
To leave space for postponed matches, the Champions League’s group phase’s timeframe has been extended until January 28.
Despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 treble winners Bayern Munich’s trip to Geneva this Thursday might have been one of the most successful in the club’s history.
Only some excess baggage problems may have affected Manuel Neuer (goalkeeper of the year award), Joshua Kimmich (defender), Robert Lewandowski (forward), and Hansi Flick (coach) on their way back to Germany after winning most of UEFA’s season awards.
Lewandowski not only collected the trophy for the best striker but crowned the club’s triumphal march by winning the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.
A favorable group draw for the 2020-21 Champions League completed the Bavarians’ perfect day, as they will meet Atletico Madrid, RB Salzburg, and Lokomotiv Moscow in Group A.
Like Bayern, Borussia Dortmund might also feel comfortable, drawing Lazio, Club Brugge, and Zenit St. Petersburg in Group F.
The other two German participants – RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach – have harder tasks in Groups F and B respectively.
Both are very much underdogs against Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir (Leipzig) and Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and Shakhtar Donetsk (Gladbach).
Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl called his club’s group exciting “as we face Europe’s top dogs.” Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann might face the biggest challenge to repeat his side’s semifinal performance last season, with key figures Timo Werner and Patrik Schick having left the club.