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German clubs agree terms for next weekend's return

 

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The German Bundesliga is set to start again on May 16.  (Matthias Schrader/AP)

The German Bundesliga is set to start again on May 16. (Matthias Schrader/AP)

The German Bundesliga is set to start again on May 16. (Matthias Schrader/AP)

The German Bundesliga is set to start again on May 16.

Plans for the top two tiers of German football to restart were approved by the federal government on Wednesday, making the Bundesliga the first of Europe's 'Big Five' leagues to be given the green light after competitions across the continent were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 36 clubs gathered via conference call yesterday to formalise the fixture schedule, and it has been decided that matches will begin from May 16, restarting from matchday 26 and playing through to a final round of matches on the weekend of June 27 and 28.

All the matches will be played behind closed doors.

Among the highlights of the first round upon the league's resumption is the Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. Reigning champions Bayern Munich resume their quest to retain their title against Union Berlin on Sunday, May 17.

Regular and widespread testing has been a key cornerstone of Germany's handling of the crisis from the beginning, and of the German Football League's strategy to restart.

Meanwhile, three Fiorentina players and three members of the club's support staff have tested positive for coronavirus.

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Serie A clubs have been given permission by the Italian government to resume training, although players can only train individually.

The players and staff have been isolated and the rest of the group will have medical and fitness tests.

A Torino player also tested positive for the virus on Wednesday and was placed in quarantine.

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