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2G or 3G? The vaccination debate also divides the Bundesliga

Soccer Who can enter the stadium?

2G or 3G? The vaccination debate also divides the Bundesliga

Stand: 13.08.2021

Watzke on the return of the audience – vaccinated “must be rewarded”

BVB managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke is hoping for a high vaccination rate in the population before the Bundesliga kick-off, so that more spectators can soon flock to the stadiums again. He sends a clear message to those who refuse to vaccinate corona.

At the start of the Bundesliga season, more spectators are allowed to enter the stadiums. But who? Vaccinated and recovered? Or also those who tested negative? The clubs do not follow a uniform line. BVB, for example, makes use of its domiciliary rights.

When Borussia Dortmund starts in the Bundesliga on Saturday, Germany’s largest football stadium should finally have an atmospheric backdrop again. 25,000 spectators are admitted to the game against Eintracht Frankfurt (6.30 p.m. / live Sky and after the final whistle as highlights at WELT). It will be the largest number of spectators at a Bundesliga game in 17 months. Football will feel a little more like it did before Corona.

The beginning of the 59th Bundesliga season marks a step, but it also documents that the crisis has not yet been overcome. This illustrates the composition of the audience in Dortmund: 24,000 will be either fully vaccinated or those who have recovered from an infection. Admission is only granted to 1000 people who can only show a negative corona test. This group consists almost exclusively of children who have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated.

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Because, contrary to what is recommended in the decree of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, BVB is largely implementing the so-called “2G principle”. The NRW regulation states that sporting events, should there be a seven-day incidence of up to 35 (incidence level 0 or 1) in the city or district concerned, “with up to 25,000 spectators, but no more than 50 Percent of regular capacity ”. The prerequisite for entering the stadium is “with more than 5000 spectators (including immunized persons) only with a negative test certificate and a hygiene concept approved by the competent authority”. So the “3G principle” applies. Viewers must be vaccinated, recovered, or tested.

That’s how many spectators are currently allowed in the stadiums

Allowed spectators in the Bundesliga (08/11/2021)

Source: dpa / dpa-infografik GmbH

However, BVB makes use of its house rules and prioritizes those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. Potential ticket buyers were informed in advance. Not everyone responded sympathetically. Hans-Joachim Watzke defended the action. Although he was against compulsory vaccinations, the managing director explained, “on the other hand, the organizers of major events also have the right to say that only vaccinated people come in. I think that’s legitimate because we’re in a difficult fight. ”He therefore appealed to the fans:“ Please get vaccinated. ”This is the key to everything.

Watzke is not alone in this opinion. The 1st FC Cologne also operates according to the 2G principle – but only from the end of August. For the second home game on 28.8. Only those who have been vaccinated or recovered may come against VfL Bochum. The people of Cologne are therefore also exposed to protests. “I got another letter that I should finally get out of here,” said managing director Alexander Wehrle in the “Stadt-Anzeiger.”

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There are various reasons for the behavior of Cologne and Dortmund residents. On the one hand, the feeling of security for the spectators in the stadiums is higher with 2G than with 3G, since there are still inaccuracies in the rapid tests. Then there is the effort to put pressure on those unwilling to be vaccinated and thus to contribute to overcoming the pandemic. Several clubs, including Cologne and BVB, have already organized vaccination campaigns.

“That would be a compulsory vaccination through the back door”

On the other hand, the action is strategic: If only those who have been vaccinated or recovered are allowed into the stadium, the Bundesliga would have better arguments if the political side should consider ghost games again with increasing incidences. The goal is apparently to get back to full stages as quickly as possible. And political resistance is likely to be lowest when 2G is used. This would take the wind out of the sails of the critics.

However, the league is divided. “That would be a compulsory vaccination through the back door,” said Hoffenheim’s managing director Jan Meyer to the “Stuttgarter Zeitung.” He advocates continuing to allow access to those who have been tested. And thus still represents the majority position. “We want to try to let everyone participate,” said Eintracht Frankfurt’s board spokesman Axel Hellmann. Hertha BSC, Union Berlin, Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg also want to proceed according to the 3G regulation.

The social controversy has now reached football. “In my opinion, vaccinated, recovered and tested viewers must be acted the same”, said Eberhard Gienger, the sports policy spokesman for the CDU of the “Augsburger Allgemeine”. The former gymnast considers everything else to be “problematic for constitutional reasons”. In addition, G2 currently also means isolated hardships for those who want to be vaccinated. In particular, many young people who did not belong to any prioritization group received vaccination appointments so late that they are currently unable to document complete protection.

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