A corona case with defending champion Alba Berlin showed German basketball the imponderables of a possibly turbulent season at the first climax. Because one of the champions’ players tested positive for the corona virus on Saturday, the opening match of the capital’s club in the cup against Braunschweig had to be canceled.
The player was isolated, said the league. “The responsible health authority has been contacted, whose decision on how to proceed is still pending,” said the message. Alba had surprisingly won the Euroleague at CSKA Moscow in Russia on Friday and was due to play his first group game on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. in Bonn against the Braunschweig lions.
League boss Stefan Holz had predicted two days before the cup tournament that corona-related postponements could occur this season. “There will be impacts,” said Holz. That it happens so quickly, however, proves the possible difficulties of a season whose schedule is already tight and for the European Cup starters includes trips to foreign risk areas.
In Bonn Alba should already play in front of empty ranks. But at least 500 fans were allowed for the group games at the Weißenfels location. A fact that, with all the joy of the clubs, brought with it new questions and challenges in retrospect. Because at the first national competitive games in front of an audience since March, the fans weren’t exactly fighting for tickets. The mood only arose at the local MBC, which was still selling the last of the 500 approved tickets at the box office.
[Mehr guten Sport aus lokaler Sicht finden Sie – wie auch Politik und Kultur – in unseren Leute-Newslettern aus den zwölf Berliner Bezirken. Hier kostenlos zu bestellen: leute.tagesspiegel.de]
“It is clear that this will not be a sure-fire success,” said Philipp Galewski, managing director of Bamberg. Its opening win against Ulm – both semi-finalists from the previous year – saw only 150 fans in Weißenfels. The clubs obviously have to fight for every guest, the uncertainty seems to be unexpectedly great.
“As a club you are spoiled and expect to get the seats sold quickly. But those times are over, ”said Galewski. “The fans are no longer used to coming into the hall. A lot of communication is required. ”The handball Bundesliga clubs had already had similar experiences. Bamberg itself recently had 1200 fans approved for a test match, but only sold a good half of the tickets.
In the opinion of his Weißenfels counterpart, Martin Geissler, communication is not only about clubs. “If the authorities and politicians speak of an increased risk situation, I would also consider going to a major event,” said the 35-year-old. As a club you can show that you do everything for the safety of the audience and convince them that way.
Football has so far shown that sports events are not automatically super-spreader events. “We already had over 200,000 spectators in the stadium and there are no known infections that can be traced back to this,” said Florian Kainzinger. He had already played a key role in developing the BBL’s hygiene and safety concept for the final tournament in Munich at the end of June.
Nevertheless, due to the number of infections, ghost games could already be pending again next weekend, when cup game days two and three are played. This was already the case this weekend at the cup tournaments in Bonn and Vechta. (dpa)