Bayern Munich players have been welcomed back to the club's training base for the first time following the suspension of top-flight football in Germany. The Bundesliga's reigning champions held their first training session on Monday under strict social-distancing rules after being cleared to do so by state authorities and the DFL (German League Federation).
Bayern's return to training came on the back of the news that a host of clubs in the German top two tiers had agreed to complete the season. According to the club's president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, 36 clubs are on board with the proposal for the leagues to be completed despite the country being on lockdown as a result of the coronavirus.
"The 36 clubs have made this decision, even if it should be after June 30," he told Spanish publication AS.
"UEFA criticized the Belgian championship, in my view justifiably, for declaring the season suspended. In Germany we all agree: the 36 clubs have decided to end the season, even if it should be after 30 June for political or health reasons.
"National leagues have priority over the cups, this was decided by UEFA. As for contracts that expire in June, the market will have to be adapted."
Needless to say, football is still not expected to return in Germany until at least April 30 but clubs have been given the permission to resume training this week. At Monday's session, the Bayern Munich players underwent corona tests before they were divided into small groups or pairs to ensure that the guidelines on safe distance are respected. Strict measures were observed during training; no handshakes were allowed, no duels on the pitch and players cautiously ensured that they didn't get too close to each other.
Watch the session below:
Here's something you haven't seen in a while— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) April 6, 2020
Bayern Munich players are now back in training - despite Germany still being in lockdown. pic.twitter.com/Eb4ctqDniy
“Obviously all health guidelines are being adhered to,” the club said in a statement.
“Obviously the training is closed to the public. FC Bayern is asking fans to continue following guidelines and please do not come to the team’s training center.”
Clubs such as Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Moenchengladbach, VfL Wolfsburg, Paderborn and others also training under the same restrictive guidelines.