Germany restarts soccer league after two-month coronavirus shutdown

The world’s first major soccer league restarts its season Saturday after a two-month coronavirus shutdown — without fans or even team handshakes.

Germany’s professional Bundesliga teams will enter stadiums filled with only 213 bodies — 115 officials and reporters in the stands and 98 players, coaches and ball boys on the field, the BBC reported.

Not having a cheering crowd will be a stark contrast for the Bundesliga, which has the highest average attendance of any soccer league in the world.

One team, Borussia Monchengladbach, is going to have cardboard cutouts of fans in the stands; fans can have one of themselves for 19 euros, or $20.55.

Every team has been in quarantine for the past week, the BBC said, and players will be regularly tested for coronavirus.

On the field, players cannot shake hands and there will be no team photos or child mascots.

The final nine rounds of games will run over six weeks with the aim of finishing the season before the end of June.

While the Bundesliga is the first pro league to resume play, minor leagues in Belarus and Nicaragua never stopped their seasons, and others, including South Korea’s teams, have recently returned to the field.