GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 27: Fans of Schalke and Dortmund are seen during the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund at Veltins Arena on September 27, 2014 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Coronavirus has already started taking its toll on European football, it seems. Recently declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, the virus, upon first entering Italy, has forced the European football bodies to suspend games in Serie A, Ligue 1, La Liga, Premier League and Eredivisie to name a few.

While Bundesliga was somehow holding on, this weekend’s round of fixtures have finally been suspended. On Monday, the German FA will hold a general assembly, where further steps are to be discussed. So without further ado, let us take a look at the impact Coronavirus has had in the Bundesliga so far.

Coronavirus Affects The Bundesliga

At the time of writing, Germany is the third-worst country hit with Coronavirus in Europe. It has so far recorded 3,117 confirmed cases with just seven deaths. That is considerably fewer than its neighbours and other European countries like France and Italy, where football activity has already been halted.

However, the number of cases is steadily growing and given the outbreak; it won’t take long for the virus to affect most of the country. During midweek, when Champions League was going on, Bundesliga experienced its first-ever match behind-closed-doors when Borussia Monchengladbach welcomed 1.FC Koln. It was an eerie experience for the viewers.

And things were about to get weirder as Dortmund were supposed to play Schalke in an empty Signal Iduna Park on Saturday. Traditionally, it’s a high-end encounter with a particular space for hostility. But, with no fans, things could have turned out very differently.

DORTMUND, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 27: Borussia Dortmund fans show their support prior to the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid CF at Signal Iduna Park on September 27, 2016, in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bundesliga finally suspended

Despite the impact of Coronavirus in Germany, the DFL had appeared reluctant when it came to suspending the Bundesliga matches. In fact, it was only after Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn recommended that all games should be played behind closed doors that the football body decided not to let supporters enter the stadium in Gladbach.

This stance changed soon, with all the matches in this week’s round of fixtures suspended. In fact, German football has been suspended until 2nd April. Unfortunately, the DFL might have gone on to host the matches had it not been for the heavy criticism.

Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara, in particular, criticised the German football federation’s initial decision to play the matches behind closed doors, labelling it “crazy“.

What’s next for Bundesliga?

There have been rumours going around in Germany which claims that should the season get suspended (most possibly after Matchday 26), there would be no winner. Teams would qualify for Europe according to their current standings, which means the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig are pretty much guaranteed to play in the Champions League next season.

Similarly, there will be no relegation and the next season could be played with 22 teams, with the bottom four clubs set to be relegated. The fifth bottom team will have to face 2.Bundesliga’s third-best team in the relegation play-off, which would create a host of confusion, particularly for the football officials of the DFL.

In the meantime, a lot will depend on how the German federation copes with the spread of Coronavirus. We can expect the football to continue should the spread of the disease reduce within the coming week, although that’s very unlikely.

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.