A corona case at defending champion alba berlin has shown german basketball the imponderables of a potentially turbulent season right at the first high point.
Because a player of the champions tested positive for the corona virus on saturday, the capital club's opening match in the cup against braunschweig had to be canceled.
The player was isolated, the league said. "The responsible health authority has been contacted, their decision on the further procedure is still pending", it was said in the message. Alba had still won surprisingly in the euroleague on friday at ZSKA moscow in russia and was supposed to play on sunday evening 18.00 o'clock in bonn against lowen braunschweig for its first group game.
League boss stefan holz had already predicted two days before the cup tournament that there might be corona-related postponements this season. "There will be strikes," said holz. The fact that it happens so quickly, however, proves the possible difficulties of a season whose schedule is already tight and includes trips to foreign risk areas for the european cup starters.
Alba was to play in front of empty stands in bonn. But at least 500 fans were allowed for the group games at the weibenfels site. A fact that, for all the joy of the clubs, in retrospect brought new questions and challenges. At the first compulsory national games in front of an audience since march, fans were not exactly clamoring for tickets at first. The atmosphere was first created by the home syntainics MBC, who sold the last of the 500 approved tickets at the box office.
"It's clear that this is not going to be a self-runner," said philipp galewski, managing director of brose bamberg. His opening victory over ulm – both semifinalists last year – was seen by only 150 fans in weibenfels. The clubs apparently have to fight for every guest, the insecurity seems to be unexpectedly rough.
"As a club, you're used to it and you expect to get the places sold quickly. But those times are over," said galewski. "The fans are no longer used to coming to the hall. A great deal of communication is required."Similar experiences had already been made by the handball bundesliga clubs. Bamberg itself had recently been allowed 1200 fans for a test match, but only sold a good half of the tickets.
According to his colleague martin geissler from weibenfels, the clubs are not the only ones who need to communicate with each other. "When authorities and politicians talk about a heightened danger 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 spectators and thus convince them.
Fubball has so far shown that sporting events are not automatically superspreader events. "There we already had over 200.000 spectators in the stadium and there are no known infections that can be attributed to it," 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, the next weekend, when the second and third cup matches will be played, could be another ghost match. This was already the case this weekend at the cup tournaments in bonn and vechta.