Bundesliga Matches Suspended Until April 2 Due to Coronavirus

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2020

MUNICH, GERMANY - AUGUST 16: The trophy is seen prior to the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Hertha BSC at Allianz Arena on August 16, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/ Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

The Bundesliga is the latest high-profile football competition to have matches postponed because of the spread of the coronavirus.

A number of the biggest leagues in the game have had their calendar disrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the German top flight initially sanctioned matches to go ahead over the weekend of March 13 to 15.

However, the decision was made on Friday that upcoming matches will not go ahead because of concerns over the spread of infection, with play suspended until April 2:

B/R Football @brfootball

BREAKING: DFL announce that the Bundesliga is suspended until April 2, including this weekend's fixtures https://t.co/9pVwfmAWvk

The Bundesliga received criticism for continuing to play matches while so many other leagues shut down, including the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara made his dissatisfaction clear ahead of his side's trip to Union Berlin on Saturday:

Thiago Alcantara @Thiago6

This is crazy. Please stop fooling around and land on reality. Let's be honest, there are much more important priorities than any sport.

Per DW Sports, Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added:

DW Sports @dw_sports

Bayern Munich's Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on playing Bundesliga football this weekend. #coronavirus https://t.co/3U1YYlp142

As AS relayed, on Friday the Bundesliga committee released a statement ahead of the Week 26 matches, saying a suspension was being considered between March 17 and April 2.

"The goal is still to end the season by the summer—from a sporting point of view, but especially because premature ending of the season could have existential consequences for some clubs," the statement read. "The health of the entire population, and thus also of all football fans and all players in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, has top priority."

The decision leaves Bayern Munich four points clear at the summit of the table, with Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach occupying UEFA Champions League qualifying spots. Werder Bremen and Paderborn are in the relegation zone, while Fortuna Dusseldorf would ordinarily be required to play a two-legged relegation play-off with the second division's third-placed team.