27.01.2022Bayer 04

Bayer 04 statement on the issue of spectators in German professional sport

Voices have grown louder in recent days. Not just the management of different Bundesliga and other professional clubs have made clear and critical statements on the decisions of the Federal government at the start of the week. The voice of the fans have also grown louder as they want to return to the stadiums and do not understand the criteria set, particularly in professional football in Germany at the moment.

Therefore, Bayer 04, who have often spoken out in the past for a responsible but also optimistic approach to opening stadiums, has now released a statement by the managing directors Fernando Carro (chairman) and Rudi Völler (sporting):

"Bayer 04 Leverkusen sharply criticise the hesitant and inconsistent position of German politicians in relation to dealing with the issue of spectators in professional sport. According to the changing circumstances, we expect suitable treatment of sport and professional football in particular, which unfortunately have recently fallen victim to an unrealistic symbolic politics.

We remain great advocates – and also pioneers – of level-headed handling of the effects of the pandemic. However, it is now time to take responsible steps back to normality.

Other big leagues in Europe are showing how that can work. England now has almost no restrictions, stadiums in Spain are 75% open with an incidence rate of over 3,000, France will allow full capacity crowds from next week and Serie A will go up to 50% capacity at the start of February.

There is no verified evidence that even one match in the Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2 has been the source of significantly increased infection rates – also neither the venue nor the approaches to the stadium. Other cultural events in Germany are taking place at almost full capacity and mostly in enclosed spaces. A completely disproportionate state of affairs.

The voices of our fans get louder and louder, the urgent need for perspective and openness is clear and is not only seen in that way by the clubs affected. We therefore call on the North Rhine-Westphalia government to ensure appropriate and reliable conditions for fans in stadiums and to implement that as soon as possible. In the same way that it has already been set in motion by other federal states – and in the best case scenario in a unified manner across the whole country."

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