German Bundesliga Returns To Action

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It has been over two months since the last German Bundesliga match, but that drought ends on May 16, 2020. After COVID-19 put a halt to sports around the world, we're slowly beginning to see some sports leagues returning to action. The Bundesliga will be the first elite European soccer league to return to action.

As promised by UFC president Dana White, his promotion was the first major sports league to re-emerge from the pandemic. The UFC is holding three events in seven days in Jacksonville, Florida.

The German Bundesliga has a full slate of matches scheduled from Saturday through Monday, May 16 - 18. Take a look below for the league's Matchday 26:

Saturday, May 16 | 9:30am ET
Borussia Dortmund (-185) vs. Schalke 04 (+500)
Leipzig  (-320) vs. SC Freiburg (+870)
TSG Hoffenheim (+115) vs. Hertha BSC Berlin (+240)
Fortuna Dusseldorf (+110) vs. SC Paderborn 07 (+235)
Augsburg (+235) vs. VFL Wolfsburg (+120)

Saturday, May 16 | 12:30
Eintracht Frankfurt (+200) vs. Borussia M'gladbach (+135)

Sunday, May 17 | 9:30
FC Koln (-105) vs.FSV  Mainz 05 (+280)

Sunday, May 17 | 12:00
Union Berlin (+1200) vs. Bayern Munich (-460)

Monday, May 18 | 14:30
Werder Bremen vs. Bayer Leverkusen (-145)

Teams have been training since early April. Players trained in groups of three or four and focused on non-contact drills in which they could respect social distancing guidelines. Goalkeepers were isolated fromt he rest of the team. This level of social distancing will not be possible on matchday.

Players are being tested twice per week. They will be tested less than 24 hours before matchday and again during the week. Some teams are also having players fill out questionaires on a daily basis asking how they feel upon waking up to ensure no symptoms develop overnight.

Players that choose to go home between matches subject the members of their house to voluntary testing. They are forbidden from having physical contact with anyone not residing in their home and must abide by the six-foot social distancing rule. In addition, players need to keep a log of everyone they make contact with.

If a player tests positive, the entire team will be forced to quarantine.

Needless to say, fans will not be in attendance. A maximum of 322 people will be allowed in and around the stadium. These are the personnel that are essential to operating a soccer match.

Some teams have offered fans the opportunity to purchase cardboard cut-outs of themselves to fill the gaps in the stadium (proceeds go to charities). Others are accepting fan-made banners to place throughout the stadium.

Showing up to the stadium could cause the home team a loss regardless of the score at the end of the game.

Players are expected to keep some distance between themselves and the referee. Refs have the ability to book a player or coach if they break social distancing rules (coaches must wear masks on the sidelines).

FIFA has also increased the number of substitutions from three to five for all remaining 2020 matches.

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