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Berlin: The German league announced Thursday it has pushed back the planned restart of the Bundesliga from Friday, May 15, until the following day.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has granted permission for the Bundesliga to resume behind closed doors with strict hygiene measures, plus regular testing of players and backroom staff.

Christian Seifert, CEO of the German Football League (DFL), confirmed on Thursday that matches will resume on Saturday, May 16. Second-placed Borussia Dortmund host arch rivals Schalke in the Ruhr derby in the pick of the matches on the first day back.

Defending champions Bayern Munich, who sit four points clear of Dortmund, will travel to face Union Berlin on the Sunday.

The Bundesliga will be the first of Europe's top leagues to restart since the coronavirus pandemic forced lockdown measures across the continent.

Fixtures (all times GMT)

Saturday, May 16

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04, RB Leipzig v Freiburg, Hoffenheim v Hertha Berlin, Fortuna Duesseldorf v Paderborn, Augsburg v VfL Wolfsburg (1330), Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Moenchengladbach (1630) Sunday, May 17 Cologne v Mainz (1330), Union Berlin v Bayern Munich (1600) Monday, May 18 Werder Bremen v Bayer Leverkusen (1830).

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Free Press Journal