Clubs confirm intent to play current season to a finish – if necessary in July

Centre circle on the pitch of a football field.

14 May 2020 – At a further DFL Ordinary Assembly held by video conference today (Thursday), the 36 clubs of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 addressed the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Apart from one abstention, they unanimously affirmed their intention – within the confines of the law – to play out the current 2019-20 season in full, including the play-offs, going beyond 30 June and into July if necessary.

Arrangements are to be made within the next two weeks to determine official league standings in case future developments dictate that a resumption of matches is impossible, and the season must be terminated prematurely. As this subject was covered in depth at the sub-meetings of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 held yesterday (Wednesday), it was not discussed in detail at the DFL Ordinary Assembly.

In addition, the DFL Ordinary Assembly decided to integrate the medical and organisational concept devised by the “Sports Medicine/Special Match Operations Task Force” and the “Information Manual on Diagnostics and Monitoring for Training and Match Operations in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2” into the DFL regulations as appendices. The concept and the information manual are now also legally binding on all clubs.

With regards to match operations in the current 2019-20 season, the clubs also resolved to increase the maximum number of substitutions in a game to five per team. The body responsible for the rules of the game, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), recently opened up this possibility. From now on, each club has three opportunities to substitute players during a match in addition to half-time. If the second leg of a play-off goes into extra time, both teams have a fourth opportunity to make a substitution. The DFL “Commission Football” recommends that no more than two players are substituted at a time.

Further changes to the league statute were also passed. For instance, taking into account the guidelines of FIFA and the DFB, the Executive Committee of the DFL can determine the end of the 2019-20 season and the beginning of the 2020-21 season, if necessary, going beyond the usual end of the season on 30 June. The Executive Committee of the DFL can also change transfer windows I and II for national and international transfers for the 2020-21 season within the scope of FIFA guidelines.

In addition, as the 2019-20 season progresses, it will be possible to play a match in a different stadium at short notice for compelling and overriding legal, organisational and/or safety reasons. This is because, given the nature of the coronavirus pandemic, it is conceivable that in some circumstances, a purely regional or local outbreak would make holding a match at the intended venue temporarily impossible, whereas play could go ahead at another venue.