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Leipzig, Nov 25: Leipzig in empty stadium as virus bites back in Bundesliga German football fans thought they’d put the days of empty stadiums behind them, but the coronavirus pandemic isn’t letting up.
Record case numbers in Germany mean one top club is back playing without a crowd and others will have thousands of fewer fans this weekend. Leipzig is on the front line of the latest wave of the pandemic in Germany in the eastern state of Saxony, where infection rates are the highest and vaccination rates the lowest compared to other regions.
With intensive care facilities under strain, state authorities have banned crowds from sports events. That means Leipzig will host the Bundesliga’s first game in an empty stadium for months when Bayer Leverkusen visits on Sunday. That also affects its Champions League game against Manchester City next month.
Clubs in other states are increasingly under restrictions, too. Bayern Munich can fill its stadium to only 25% capacity against Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.
Bayern celebrated having a full house of 75,000 for the first time since March 2020 on Oct. 23 when it played Hoffenheim. Since then, case numbers have continued to hit record levels in Germany, and footballhas not escaped. Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch and goalkeeper Peter Gulasci won’t be at their empty-stadium game against Leverkusen after the club said they tested positive.
Of the four German clubs playing in the Champions League this week, all were missing at least one player with a positive test. (AP)
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