Germany’s top 36 clubs have approved an approach for fans to return to stadiums that includes no away fans, closed standing sections, no alcohol until the end of October and personalized tickets.

“The priority in Germany at the moment is not full stadiums. The priority is the health of people,” said DFL boss Christian Seifert.

“When, however, fans are allowed back in stadiums is not a DFL decision,” Seifert added, saying that the decision lies with local politicians. “We are not expecting anything nor are we demanding anything. We are just preparing ourselves.”

A step at a time

Seifert said that professional football can “only come back in steps” and that there was no “magic switch” for politicians to give the green light for full stadiums. Germany’s ban on all events with large crowds is in place until October 31.

“That will happen in steps,” Seifert said. “We will have to reclaim normality in small steps … No one at the DFL will demand a specific number of fans. That would be irresponsible.”

He added that the number of fans that are allowed to return could depend on various local factors, including stadium infrastructure, local infection figures and state regulations.

Fan representation “Unsere Kurve” had a mixed response to the decision. Board director Markus Sotirianos told German sports new agency SID that it was “understandable that the decisions were made under consideration of health protection,” but that a move to allow for the admittance of away fans “would have been clearly welcomed.”

Health ministers from Germany’s 16 states are due to discuss the issue when they meet on August 10. The 2020-21 Bundesliga season starts on September 18.