DFL Plans Alternate Dates for Relegation Games Due to Cup Final Conflict

As of: March 11, 2024 8:23 p.m

Actually, the dates for the two relegations have already been set. At Fortuna Düsseldorf and 1. FC Kaiserslautern, however, there is the possibility that the clubs will be in the relegation and cup finals – in this case, the DFL has planned to postpone the relegation games.

The dates for the relegation games and the DFB Cup final are planned as follows:

  • 23. May: First leg relegation table 16. Bundesliga – third place in the 2nd Bundesliga
  • 24. May: First leg relegation third in the 3rd league – tables 16th 2nd Bundesliga
  • 25. May: DFB Cup final in Berlin
  • 27. May: Second leg relegation third place in the 2nd Bundesliga – table 16th. Bundesliga
  • 28. May: Second leg relegation table 16. 2nd Bundesliga – third place in the 3rd league

However, in this sequence there would be too little recovery time between games if a club takes part in relegation and cup finals. There are two clubs in the semi-finals of the DFB Cup, Düsseldorf and Kaiserslautern, where participation in relegation games must at least be considered.

Should Düsseldorf and Kaiserslautern, or even both, play in the relegation and also qualify for the cup final, the DFL has made provision for alternative dates:

  • May 22nd would be possible as a date for the first leg of the relegation
  • May 29th could be used for the second leg

In this way, there would at least be enough recovery time before and after the DFB Cup final, alternating between the sporting struggle for survival and title dreams.

Disadvantage: European Cup finals in the way

However, the alternative dates have a disadvantage: the Europa League final will take place in Dublin on May 22nd and the Conference League final in Athens is scheduled for May 29th.

Both finals will kick off at 9 p.m., so the German relegation games should take place earlier if the alternative dates are used.

How home law is regulated in relegation

Basically, according to the DFL playing regulations: “The home advantage in the second leg belongs to the club that, according to the schedule of the previous season, had fewer days without games before the first leg.”

This usually means that the second division team has home advantage against the Bundesliga team in the second leg, as their season ends on Sundays, but the Bundesliga team’s season ends on Saturdays. This is also how it looks in the relegation of the second division team against the third division team: The third division team’s season usually ends on Saturdays.

The away goals rule in relegation has now been abolished, similar to the rule in the European Cup.

Relegation can be organizationally challenging

Since its reintroduction, relegation has often caused organizational challenges. In 2022, Hertha BSC played in the relegation, and the Berlin Olympic Stadium had to be prepared for the cup final within two days after the first leg against Hamburger SV.

2024-03-11 19:23:33
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