The game between FSV Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund has been postponed. For the 05ers it is the second massive corona outbreak this season.
When asked about possible carnival celebrations, Christian Heidel laughed away in a relaxed manner. But in view of the next corona shock at FSV Mainz 05, the mood of the sports director changed abruptly: The Bundesliga home game against Borussia Dortmund will be postponed. In the end, you were “unlucky,” said Heidel: “We don’t blame anyone.”
After 19 corona cases in Mainz, including 13 players and coach Bo Svensson, the German Football League (DFL) granted an application to postpone the game on Friday afternoon. The game originally planned for Sunday should be made up for on March 16 (6:30 p.m. / DAZN). It is the first postponement of a Bundesliga game due to Corona this season.
“We still have 14 players who are fit for action, but none of them are eligible Bundesliga goalkeepers,” said Heidel, who represented Svensson at the press conference, shortly before the DFL confirmation. It was “a bit difficult to play a Bundesliga game with such a squad”.
According to the DFL rules of play, at least 16 players are required to play a game, including at least nine licensed players, including a goalkeeper. Blocked players, like Alexander Hack or Dominik Kohr at Mainz, are considered “available”.
Kehl’s anger at the collision of appointments: “Very unhappy”
“Of course it’s a pity that the game can’t take place as planned. Ultimately, however, fair competition must be guaranteed – based on the rules that we as a league have given ourselves,” said Sebastian Kehl, head of Dortmund’s licensed players department. The transfer was “understandable and correct”. Heidel emphasized: “We’re all in the same boat. Today it can be us, tomorrow BVB.”
The catch-up game will overlap with that of Borussia Dortmund’s U19s in the Youth League when the BVB youngsters meet Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals. “We had lodged with the DFL that this date was very unfortunate for us because of the home game of our U19s against Atletico Madrid, but we were told that no other date was possible,” said license player boss Sebastian Kehl in a statement.
Mainz 05: Second corona outbreak this season
For Mainz it is the second massive outbreak this season. Immediately before the start of the season, the club had had eleven infections among the professionals in August. The game against runner-up RB Leipzig still took place – and Mainz won 1-0. This time, according to Heidel, the club was hit “even harder”.
The people of Mainz assume that the infections related to the away game at Union Berlin occurred last weekend – possibly when traveling on the plane. Of course, one wonders “how something like this can happen”. The infected are doing “well”, said Heidel, there are “a few who have cold symptoms”.
In addition, Heidel explained that the 19 cases reported on Thursday were a “mistake”. Actually, 18 positive tests had appeared, but on Friday there was a positive result anyway. It is unclear whether more will follow. “We assume that the issue is not yet settled,” said Heidel.
Heidel initially left open what effects the situation will have on the game next week at FC Augsburg. “We have to wait and see,” said the Mainz manager and referred to the examinations that must first be carried out after a free test. It is clear “that next week only players who are medically approved will be able to play”.