Austrian Football League will kick off games but with restrictions, some without fans

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) expands daily, and almost hourly as governments around the world race to cope and contain it.

The Austrian Football League will now feel the effects. The Austrian government has responded to the crisis and announced restrictions on the size of public gatherings both indoors and out and with the AFL scheduled to launch the 2020 season this weekend, the impact will be immediate.

The government has restricted the size of public events to 500 spectators in outdoor venues and 100 indoors. This restriction will remain in place initially until early April.

American football teams in Austria have been left to deal with it on an individual basis.

As a result, the Dacia Vienna Vikings have decided that their game against the Mödling Rangers, scheduled for Saturday, March 14 will go on as scheduled but without any spectators.

Vikings president Karl Wurm:

“Of course, we will follow government guidelines. The health and safety of all active people, coaches and, of course, that of the many loyal Vikings fans must be paramount in such situations. Therefore, the home game against the Mödling Rangers will take place at the Ravelin [sports complex] but will be held as a ghost game.”

Other teams are dealing with it slightly differently.

The Graz Giants are set to host the Danube Dragons this Saturday as well and they have decided to allow only season ticket holders into the event.

The defending champion Swarco Raiders, based in Innsbruck, are scheduled to face the Prague Black Panthers from the Czech Republic. This game presents additional issues since Prague may be allowed to travel to Austria for the game but the entire team could possibly be subject to two weeks of quarantine upon returning home. Swarco has announced that it will make a decision later today. The Raiders also have a basketball arm and both games scheduled for March 14 and March 22 will be closed to the public.

The Hohenems Blue Devils who have a home game scheduled for March 15 against the Traun Steelsharks have issued a statement on their Facebook page:

“Due to the current exceptional situation, we are still unable to give any information about the planned game on Sunday. We will inform you as soon as we receive all the necessary instructions from the official posts.”

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