Germany postpones until mid July – at the earliest

The German Football League, the largest American football league in Europe, has pushed forward the date for a start to the GFL until at least the middle of July.

According to Carsten Dalkowski, President of the GFL this decision is based on the latest ruling from the government in which no major events will be allowed until the end of August, without defining what is considered a major event. Team sports, in general, will not be allowed until May 3 at the earliest. As it stands right now but it is unlikely that a relaxation of restrictions will allow tackle football to be practiced or played at that time. 

“We are not certain if by major event they mean a sporting event of 1,000, 5,000 or 10,000 people in attendance which is crucial for us.”

Essentially for the GFL, this means that if a major event is an event with an attendance of 100 people or more, the league would not be able to start until September, and then would be looking at a very short season with the German Bowl still scheduled for October 10 in Frankfurt. As it stands, if the definition of a major event would allow the GFL to play, they are still looking at a truncated season for maybe eight to 10 games plus playoffs, starting in mid July.

“We are pragmatic optimists in football. We are pragmatic enough to see that our community has more victims and hard work ahead of it. But we are also still hopeful enough that our clubs can present a league and a German Bowl to fans and partners this year.”

For the GFL to kick off a shortened season in mid-July, the teams would have to be given the green light to start practicing in mid June.

The work on planning continues according to Dalkowski:

“The Presidium, the GFL League Directorate and the AFVD crisis team are currently putting their heads together every day in order to be able to come up with a balanced decision that takes all legal, sporting and health aspects of the athletes, clubs and the league sufficiently into account.”

Coronavirus situation in Germany.

As of Friday, April 17 there were 138,273 reported cases of COVID-19 in Germany and a total of 4,105 deaths attributed to the virus. However, Germany has seen a flattening out of the curve. German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced Wednesday that Germany will begin to ease its coronavirus lockdown starting next week. Smaller shops are set to reopen first, while schools will follow in early May. Nonessential stores, which have also have been closed for nearly four weeks, will be allowed to start reopening, with hygiene precautions, if they are up to 800 square meters in area. Falling into this category are car showrooms, bike shops and bookshops, irrespective of their size.




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