German Football League officials said games behind closed doors are the most likely option, due to the coronavirus crisis. Credit: DW.com.

While many sports leagues around the world are shutting down and locking down, the German Football League (DFL) has expressed its determination to finish the 2019/2020 season, China.org.cn reported.

The DFL board told the 36 first and second division clubs that it intends to continue its efforts to organize games behind closed doors relying on a minimum of staff after an emergency meeting this Tuesday afternoon, the report said.

The board recommended a further delay due to the coronavirus crisis until at least April 30. The clubs are expected to support the proposal at their next general meeting on March 31.

A finish to the season by the end of June remains the primary goal, the associations said. The DFL announced it was working on plans to run games with the lowest possible number of people involved and behind closed doors, the report said.

Fredi Bobic said that Bundesliga clubs might have to get ready to play games every day as soon as it is possible. The 1996 European Champion and current sporting director of Eintracht Frankfurt underlined: “In the worst case, we have to play every day to get this done.”

Meanwhile, this season’s initial German Champions League representatives, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen, have announced a €20m (US$22 million) solidarity fund to help other Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs during the current crisis.

Former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness demanded in an interview with Kicker magazine on Thursday that “solidarity must now be acted on, not just talked about” – and the clubs have responded.

Several clubs have been unable to set up small training groups after gatherings of more than two people have been prohibited by health authorities throughout the country. The state of Bavaria has even stricter instructions.

The Berlin-based prestigious virologist Christian Drosten said German football would have to live with games behind closed doors until spring next year, the report said.

Several clubs announced their playing staff has accepted and initiated substantial wage cuts, and would use the savings to secure the jobs of the rest of the staff.

Hoeness believes the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting effect on transfer fees.

“I can’t imagine €100m transfers in the near future,” he told Kicker. “Transfer fees will drop, the amounts will not recover to the previous level in the next two or three years. There will very likely be a new football world.”

Locked down sports fans are starving for any kind of sporting event, even if it’s virtual.

NASCAR and Fox Sports might have started airing virtual races out of pandemic-induced necessity, but it appears their efforts paid off.

Fox has revealed that the inaugural eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series race on March 22nd drew 903,000 viewers on FS1, making it the highest-rated esports TV program to date.

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