The German Bundesliga could allow fans back into stadiums for the beginning of next season if it is safe to do so, the German Football League association (DFL) has announced.
The top flight in Germany was the first elite league to return during the worldwide pandemic in March, with clubs in the Bundesliga pioneering the hosting of games behind closed doors with no spectators.
And should all safety concerns be alleviated to an acceptable level, they could be the first league again to take the next step back to normality.
“If and when fans will return to the stadiums is not a decision for the DFL but for the political leaders,” (DFL) CEO Christian Seifert said on Tuesday.
“The DFL does not expect or demand anything but we are preparing to take this small step (with fans in stadiums) when the time comes.
“Priority is not full stadiums but the health situation. We should not take unnecessary risks but we should also not capitulate and just expect it to go away.”
Seifert did highlight the importance of cooperation with Covid-19 healthy decision-makers, however, and insisted league dignitaries would not dictate any terms with relation to how many fans can get back in, or when.
“Professional football can only come back in steps,” he continued.
“There is no magic switch for politicians to give the green light for full stadiums. That will happen in steps. We will have to reclaim normality in small steps.
“No one at the DFL will demand a specific number of fans. That would be irresponsible.”
Away fans will need to wait until the turn of the year, though, as the plan for the moment is to keep sets of supporters apart as much as possible which means only home supporters in stadiums.