Borussia Dortmund skipper criticizes being played behind closed doors

Borussia Dortmund skipper Hans-Joachim Watzke has spoken out against closed-door games at the moment in the Bundesliga, believing that politicians use football as “a symbol” beyond any real health consideration.

“It is not about having full stadiums, that would be a completely wrong sign,” he said in an interview in the Spiegel published this Saturday, “but I think that a maximum capacity of 10% would be appropriate.”

Faced with the new wave of covid-19 that is shaking Europe, the new German government announced on December 21 the establishment of closed-door matches in the Bundesliga stadiums in January, although in some regions, such as Berlin, it was finally authorized to establish limited maximum capacities.

At Dortmund’s stadium, which has a capacity for 82,000 spectators, “you can start over with 8,000 spectators, so that they don’t have any physical contact, so to speak,” proposed Watzke, whose club is second in the Bundesliga standings.

“With 8,000 spectators, the risk of infection in our house would be very small and, honestly, everyone knows it,” he said.

“But football must be put as a political symbol,” lamented the leader. “Explain to me why concert halls receive 750 people twice a day, with a reception rate of 45%, and in open-air stadiums no spectators are allowed,” he said.

Financially, soccer will not be able to sustain itself for long, Watzke estimated.

“Each game behind closed doors costs us (at Borussia Dortmund) four million euros (4.5 million dollars). It is not financially bearable,” he complained. “The bond between club and fans is unleashed little by little. A part of the spectators will not return,” he warns.

cpb / dep / dr / iga

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