Neuer urges Bundesliga players to be responsible when season restarts from Covid-19 break

With German chancellor Angela Merkel set to announce a restart date, the Bavarian skipper reminded players of the need to be role models

Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer said Bundesliga players must be aware of their responsibility upon the proposed restart of the season.

The 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign has been postponed since March amid the coronavirus pandemic, but German chancellor Angela Merkel is set to announce a return date on Wednesday.

According to reports, the competition could resume as early as May 15, which would make the Bundesliga the first of the five major European domestic leagues to return since the Covid-19 crisis.

Hertha Berlin’s Salomon Kalou was suspended for flouting social-distancing measures , potentially jeopardising the Bundesliga’s hopes of returning, and Bayern goalkeeper Neuer urged a responsible approach.

“I am speaking consciously of the football family and football matches, because the fact that advice will be given on the restart of the federal leagues and, if possible, a decision is likely to have consequences for all of football, right down to the many amateur clubs and the youngest generations – and beyond also for many other sports,” Neuer wrote for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

“Even from other European countries, and indeed all over the world, people will be looking at us. This is an enormous responsibility for us, which we must be aware of with every fibre. We must be aware that it is also important to us now.”

Neuer added: “As a role model, we are part of society. We only want to play football, but that’s not enough at this time.”

Kalou provoked anger when posted a video online showing him breaking a series of strict restrictions put in place amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The Ivorian forward did a live video showing him arriving at the club’s training ground as Bundesliga teams prepare for the possible resumption of the German top-flight season.

In the clip, the Ivorian enters the Hertha locker room and says hello to several players by offering a handshake. He also runs into a teammate, defender Jordan Torunarigha, being tested for Covid-19. The doctor tells him he should not be in the same room during this procedure, but Kalou stayed regardless.

The 34-year-old also filmed himself in conversation with fellow striker Vedad Ibisevic, who complains about having his salary cut amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Defending champions Bayern were four points clear of rivals Borussia Dortmund through 25 games at the time of postponement.