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Football: German clubs resume training amid tight virus restrictions, Dortmund offer part of stadium for treatment

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BERLIN (REUTERS, AFP) – Bundesliga clubs were allowed to resume team training on Monday (April 6), with some opting to train players in small groups amid strict measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Football in the country has been suspended for almost a month and the German Football League (DFL) has said the ban will remain in place for the top divisions at least until April 30.

Clubs, however, were given the all clear to resume training this week, with champions Bayern Munich deciding to train players in small groups to minimise the risk of infection.

"Obviously all health guidelines are being adhered to," the club said in a statement.

"Obviously the training is closed to the public. FC Bayern are asking fans to continue following guidelines and please do not come to the team's training centre."

Earlier, Borussia Dortmund provided part of their Signal Iduna Park stadium for the treatment of suspected virus cases.

They announced last Friday that Germany's biggest football stadium is to be partially transformed into a medical centre.

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"Our stadium is a symbol of the city… its technical, infrastructural and spatial set-up make it the ideal place to help people who are potentially infected," said club directors Hans-Joachim Watzke and Carsten Cramer in a statement.

Germany has seen the number of infected people rise above 100,000 at the weekend and nearly 1,600 have died after testing positive for the virus that has forced the country into lockdown.

Despite the training resumption, the DFL made it clear last week it was not known if or when the season would resume, and the stop in play has also had major financial effects on clubs.

Two weeks ago Dortmund, Bayern, Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen came together to create a €20 million (S$31 million) solidarity fund to help clubs in the top two tiers.

Dortmund said they had transformed the north stand of the 81,000-capacity stadium – the one opposite the famous "Yellow Wall" – into a treatment centre in collaboration with a local medical association. The centre will provide check-ups, issue prescription medicines and even offer initial treatment for those diagnosed with Covid-19.Read More – Source