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16 May 2020 16:49

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  • BERLIN — Germany’s Bundesliga soccer season resumed Saturday after a two-month break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

BERLIN — Germany’s Bundesliga soccer season resumed Saturday after a two-month break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Latest: Quiet start as Bundesliga returns

Germany's Bundesliga returns to action with the resumption of the first top European league since the lockdown watched closely to see if it provides a blueprint for other competitions. The football matches are being played behind closed doors and players and coaches, who have been in quarantine for the past week, must follow stringent hygiene guidelines. The coronavirus has killed at least 307,321 people worldwide since it surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally on Saturday at 1100 GMT based on official sources. It is followed by Britain with 33,998, Italy with 31,610, Spain with 27,563, and France with 27,529. Chile's government orders a week-long total lockdown for its capital Santiago after a spike in infections over the last days.

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Italy meanwhile is looking to quicken its exit from lockdown, with the government announcing it will reopen to European tourists from early June and scrap a 14-day mandatory quarantine period. As part of a growing wave of demonstrations in Germany by conspiracy theorists, extremists and anti-vaxxers against coronavirus restrictions, thousands of people are set to mass in Stuttgart, Munich and Berlin, with police out in force. Dortmund's Erling Haaland scores the opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, May 16, 2020. The German Bundesliga becomes the world's first major soccer league to resume after a two-month suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: Game day in the Bundesliga is a lot quieter than it used to be.

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Instead of thousands of fans chatting and drinking beer outside the stadium, there were only a few locals out for a weekend bike ride as Borussia Dortmund hosted Schalke in a normally fierce local rivalry. The German soccer league resumed Saturday after a two-month break due to the coronavirus, but with no fans in the stadiums. The song "You'll Never Walk Alone," a favorite of Dortmund fans as well as Liverpool supporters, echoed around the stadium ahead of kickoff and the starting whistle could be heard outside. The arena has an 81,000 capacity but league rules permit just 213 people, including players, to be inside for the game, none of them supporters. Germany's Bundesliga soccer season resumed Saturday after a two-month break caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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"It's quite surreal," Dortmund chief executive Hans Joachim Watzke told Sky TV. "I've received messages from all over the world in the last couple of hours that everybody is watching and then you go through the city and there's nothing going on." The head of the World Health Organization said Saturday it will not be easy to make next year's Tokyo Olympics a safe global gathering after the pandemic. Speaking at a joint news conference with the IOC, the WHO's director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for "national unity and global solidarity" to fight the coronavirus outbreak ahead of the Olympics. The Games, postponed this year, should bring athletes from more than 200 countries to Japan. The Summer Games opening ceremony is now due on July 23, 2021, after the International Olympic Committee and organizers in Japan used WHO advice in March before agreeing a one-year delay.

erling braut håland

BERLIN — Germany's Bundesliga soccer season resumed Saturday after a two-month break caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke kicked off in an empty stadium as all games began amid strict hygiene measures. Calls and shouts from coaching staff and players, and the thud of the ball being kicked, reverberated around the mainly deserted stands. Team staff, and players who didn't start, wore masks. "It's quite surreal," Dortmund chief executive Hans Joachim Watzke told Sky TV.

"I've received messages from all over the world in the last couple of hours that everybody is watching and then you go through the city and there's nothing going on." The Ruhr derby was one of five games that were the first to be played in the league since March 11. Earlier Saturday, the second division resumed with four games, also without fans present and amid strict distancing measures. Goal celebrations in other games were also marked by fist bumps and elbow-to-elbow touching. The game's authorities were keen to restart the country's top two divisions with several clubs, including Schalke, facing severe financial difficulties because of the suspension in play. Numerous polls showed a growing majority in Germany were against the resumption of the leagues. Fans are also critical of games without supporters present. "Soccer without fans is nothing," read a joint statement from several Bayern Munich fan groups after the league decided on May 7 to resume. Cologne fans accused authorities Saturday of prioritizing money over people's health. A banner at Augsburg's game against Wolfsburg said, "Soccer will survive, your business is sick!". Karlsruher SC midfielder Marc Lorenz, a substitute in the second division game against Darmstadt on Saturday, told the Badische Neueste Nachrichten newspaper that the league hadn't considered the health of the players "at all" in its rush to get back. Teams in both divisions are allowed five substitutions instead of the usual three to help cope after two months without play. Players and staff have been subjected to regular testing for COVID-19. There were three cases found at Cologne, while second-division Dynamo Dresden was ordered into 14 days of quarantine after two more cases brought its total to three last Saturday. Dresden's game against Hannover on Sunday was called off, and the team cannot train during the quarantine period. Augsburg coach Heiko Herrlich was due to make his debut in charge against Wolfsburg but missed the game after leaving the team hotel in strict quarantine conditions to buy toiletries. Football fans around the globe are an elated lot as football action resumes this weekend after weeks of suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Bundesliga is the first league to re-start with the rest of the major European leagues expected to follow suit in the coming weeks. Germany's top tier league will kick off on Saturday with a total of six games, among them a derby pitting together Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. Dortmund are overwhelming favorites but any derby knows no form and there are no clear favourites. The 19-year-old has scored 12 goals from his 11 matches in the Bundesliga and formed a telepathic relationship with Jadon Sancho, another hot prospect. The 20-year-old has attracted a host of clubs from across Europe, with Chelsea and Manchester United leading the race for his signature. His numbers in Europe this season have been amazing, to say the list, and might heavily influence the tie on Saturday. On Friday, the latest of EA's Team of the Season So Far reveals arrived as the best of the best from Bundesliga got the spotlight. With the FIFA 20 Bundesliga TOTSSF there are 20 players with overall ratings from 88 up to a stellar 99. That top card goes to fan favorite Robert Lewandowski, with Timo Werner coming in nearby at 97 overall. Here's all of the latest information about this new Team of the Season So Far lineup. Lewandowski, Werner lead FIFA 20 Bundesliga TOTSSF Anyone who's been playing FIFA 20 for quite a while now knows the story of Robert Lewandowski. Many fans lobbied hard to get him onto the Team of the Year, but it didn't happen. Instead, Cristiano Ronaldo got the fan vote. However, Lewandowski receives his best card yet here on FIFA 20 Bundesliga TOTSSF. Lewandowski is joined on the new TOTSSF by Timo Werner with a 97 overall card. Werner gets 99 Acceleration and Sprint Speed for his Pace along with 98 Shooting, 96 Dribbling, and 90 Passing scores. Check out the complete Bundesliga squad below with starting XI, substitutes, and reserves. Along with the starting XI, we also got nine other players for substitutes and reserves. Here's who made the cut for the FIFA 20 Bundesliga TOTSSF. CAM Kai Havertz (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) 94 OVR RW Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munchen) 93 OVR LB Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munchen) 92 OVR CB Matthias Ginter (Borussia M'gladbach) 92 OVR RWB Achraf Hakimi (Borussia Dortmund) 91 OVR GK Lukas Hradecky (Bayer 04 Leverkusen) 91 OVR CM Suat Serdar (FC Schalke 04) 88 OVR CB Martin Hinteregger (Eintracht Frankfurt) 88 OVR All of the above players including the starting XI are now available randomly in select FUT packs in Ultimate Team. As mentioned, Lewandowsk has a steep price, and other players may be near the one million FUT coins mark. In addition to all of the above players revealed, there are several other available FIFA 20 Bundesliga TOTSSF players. Bundesliga is one of several Team of the Season lineups revealed in the past week or so. Visit our FIFA news page for more of the latest updates.

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