“If we don’t shout” (neues-deutschland.de)

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Stadium experience: The Berlin Bundesliga club wants it back in its old forester in the new season, loud and without a gap.

Foto: imago images/Camera 4

The 1. FC Union does not understand his initiative as a basis for discussion, at least not officially. The Berlin Bundesliga club is determined to play football again in a sold-out old forester at the beginning of the coming season. »To achieve this, 1. FC Union Berlin is working on testing its employees and all 22 012 cardholders for an infection with the corona virus on the day of the match. You can then access the stadium with a valid admission ticket and a negative test result, which must not be older than 24 hours at the time the stadium is closed, «the club said on Friday evening. The Berliners have probably expected that there has been a lot of discussion since then.

Union Berlin’s plans have not yet sparked a major social debate, such as in mid-May, when professional football had to accept the accusation of a special role from many sides with the restart of its federal leagues. This may also be due to the fact that the hygiene concept of the league association DFL and the German Football Association (DFB) worked well. And it serves not only as a model for many other sports in this country.

Fritz Keller hopes that football will serve as a role model. »My dream would be to get a full stadium again at some point through tests. That would not only be important for sport, but also for cultural activities and the economy, «said the DFB president – and thus at least vaguely supports the concept of 1. FC Union. At the same time, Keller emphasized that the scientists must continue to be listened to. The DFL has so far kept a low profile and refers to ongoing discussions with the Federal Ministry of Health. The league association had already handed over the responsibility for the coming season, which is to begin in the 1st Bundesliga on September 18. In contrast to the season that has just ended, there will no longer be a central hygiene and safety concept. The authorities on site should decide whether to play in front of spectators. This also speaks for the concept of the Köpenickers, who soon want to present it to the responsible health department of the Treptow-Köpenick district and the state of Berlin.

The 1st FC Union’s first statements from science should make the 1st FC Union a little less confident. Harald Renz, for example, leads the so-called “diagnostic gap”. “It can happen that the coronavirus cannot be detected in an infected person at the time of the test, but is already contagious later when the game is played,” said the director of the Institute for Laboratory Medicine, Pathobiochemistry and Molecular Diagnostics at the University Hospital Marburg. The Hamburg-based virologist Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit points out that incorrect tests can always lead to false negative results. The doctor Klaus-Dieter Zastrow sees a solution for this. “Two tests for fans before the game,” says the member of the hygiene commission of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment as “technically possible and responsible.”

The costs for this are enormous. The 1. FC Union wants to carry them alone, even if they are likely to exceed the game day income in a sold out old forester’s house. “If we are not allowed to sing and scream, then it is not Union,” said President Dirk Zingler of the club’s initiative: “We want to give football back to people whom they love and which they long for.” To make it into the league again, the team of the Köpenick Bundesliga team, which lives from struggle and passion, also needs the support of the ranks. The first games after the restart in May showed how much trouble she has without fans.

Other clubs are working on their own concepts, most of them plan with partially filled stadiums. Like the Hamburger SV. Chief Financial Officer Frank Wettstein said: “If you extrapolate the idea from Berlin to all professional football, 500,000 people would have to be tested every weekend.” Meanwhile, 1. FC Union is exploring various options, “using the test capacities available in sufficient quantities to be able to «. In addition to discussions with potential partners, there will also be meetings with political decision-makers. After all, Berlin’s Senator for Sports Andreas Geisel is open to this. “We will meet with the club management in a timely manner to discuss the concept,” said the SPD politician. In any case, up to now it has been the case in Berlin that large events with more than 5000 people are prohibited until October 24.

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