BERLIN, May 6 (Xinhua) -- The Bundesliga restart can be a role model for world sport, said former Bayern Munich and Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann.
"Everyone around the globe is going to keep a close eye on the progress in German football," the 2005 Champions League winner commented after the league's governing body, the DFL, announced Wednesday evening that professional football would return to action on May 15. All the 36 first and second division clubs have been informed.
The former midfielder said the top two leagues would attract worldwide attention. "Everybody is eager to see how things work out and then might try to adopt many things laid down in the German concept."
The mental state of the players will play a vital role when it comes to the outcome of the 2019/2020 season, the 46-year-old added.
German record international Lothar Matthaeus said the approval is an excellent chance for German football. "Many leagues will pay attention to what happens here," the 1990 World Champion said.
The league association intends to finish the season by the end of June, including weekday games.
In addition to Hamann, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Borussia Dortmund sports director Sebastian Kehl expect possible big surprises "as games behind closed doors are a step into the unknown."
Teams can't count on the support of their fans. Several experts, therefore, expect better teams to benefit as several underdogs are used to relying on the atmosphere in their stadiums.
Rummenigge announced the Bavarian side is going into self-quarantine for a week from this Saturday on. "It is our responsibility to take this chance seriously," the former striker commented.
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke added German football has to thank the country's people for their discipline. "If infection rates hadn't decreased, we wouldn't be able to proceed. We all have to take the hygiene concept seriously."
The DFL has presented a comprehensive concept, including strict measures. Besides frequent testing among players, staff, and family members, the private life of everybody involved is restricted.
Any violations of the rules will lead to the withdrawal of the permission, the Bavarian prime minister Markus Soeder stressed.
While most fans are happy about the decision, the government's approval to restart football has sparked a controversial debate among clubs about the right timing.
After a meeting involving the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 federal minister presidents this Wednesday, it is up to the Bundesliga to arrange a date in the second half of May.
Most clubs are reported to favor the weekend of May 15 to 17. Werder Bremen and FSV Mainz 05 were reportedly in favor of a start a week later. Both clubs are in danger of relegation and claim they need 14 days to get match fit.
The minister presidents of both states demanded equal opportunities for all sides. Werder claims that full team-training hasn't been allowed in the city-state until now.
"We should get on with it as soon as possible. Maybe not all teams are at the highest level at present, but still have time to catch up," Rummenigge had emphasized.
The league meeting is expected to decide about the schedule for the remaining nine rounds of matches. One option favors the rescheduling of the fixtures to avoid fan gatherings.
It is said to be an option to start with the season's last round as it doesn't contain as many potential volatile duels. The highly-charged Rhine-Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 is due for the 26th round, the first to befall victim to the corona crisis in the middle of March.