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Eerie silence across stadiums on Bundesliga restart

Video Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on May 16, 2020 - Duration: 01:42s

Eerie silence across stadiums on Bundesliga restart

The Bundesliga restarts after a two-month suspension to the sound of silence with matches being played behind closed doors.

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Eerie silence across stadiums on Bundesliga restart

SHOWS: DORTMUND, GERMANY (MAY 16, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

EXTERIOR OF DORTMUND'S SIGNAL IDUNA PARK BEFORE START OF DORTMUND V SCHALKE MATCH PLAYED WITHOUT FANS 2.

STEWARDS WEARING PROTECTIVE GEAR OUTSIDE STADIUM 3.

DORTMUND TEAM BUS ARRIVING FOR MATCH 4.

EXTERIOR OF STADIUM 5.

MEDIA OUTSIDE QUIET STADIUM AND STEWARDS IN PROTECTIVE GEAR 6.

MORE OF QUIET STADIUM AHEAD OF MATCH DORTMUND, GERMANY (MAY 16, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE) 7.

STILL PHOTO OF STEWARDS IN PROTECTIVE GEAR STANDING IN FRONT OF TURNSTILES OUTSIDE STADIUM BEFORE MATCH 8.

STILL PHOTO OF POLICE ON HORSEBACK OUTSIDE STADIUM DORTMUND, GERMANY (MAY 16, 2020) (POOL - ACCESS ALL) (MUTE) 9.

STILL PHOTO OF MEDIA CREW HAVING TEMPERATURE CHECKED BEFORE ENTERING STADIUM 10.

STILL PHOTO OF ANOTHER MEDIA CREW HAVING TEMPERATURE CHECKED 11.

STILL PHOTO OF BALL BOYS DISINFECTING BALLS BEFORE START OF MATCH WITH EMPTY STADIUM BEHIND THEM MATCH ACTION 12.

STILL PHOTO OF BORUSSIA DORTMUND PLAYERS BLOCKING FREE KICK BY SCHALKE'S DANIEL CALIGIURI 13.

STILL PHOTO OF DORTMUND'S ERLING HAALAND IN ACTION 14.

STILL PHOTO OF DORTMUND'S THORGAN HAZARD IN ACTION WITH SCHALKE'S MATIJA NASTASIC AND WESTON MCKENNIE 15.

STILL PHOTO OF MATCH ACTION NEAR GOAL WITH EMPTY STADIUM IN THE BACKGROUND 16.

STILL PHOTO OF HAALAND CELEBRATING FIRST GOAL OF THE MATCH STORY: From social distancing substitutes using airport stairs, to disinfected balls and a potential television audience of one billion, the Bundesliga enjoyed a chequered restart as the first major sports league to resume amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The German top two divisions, suspended since mid-March due to the virus, returned on Saturday (May 16), including the Bundesliga's showcase -- the Ruhr valley derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 -- as football-starved fans around the globe tuned in to watch live action.

Despite the possible global audience of a billion as predicted by Bayern Munich boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and the hope it gave other sports leagues, it was not what fans had been hoping for.

Instead of the 81,000-crowd packing in Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park, it was a mere 300 people, including players, staff, team officials, broadcasters and security personnel, as in every stadium as part of a strict health protocol.

Fans have also been banned from inside and around the venues to minimise the risk of infection.

Police were present at the grounds prior to the start in order to deter fans from gathering outside to celebrate.

The Bundesliga has allowed five substitutions in total per game to cope with the lack of match practice and the congested fixture schedule.

The league is desperate to complete the season for contractual reasons by June 30.

(Production: Ulrike Heil, Gabi Sajonz-Grimm, Kurt Michael Hall)

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