DFL has announced the fixture schedule, including some potential alterations, through to the end of the season.
DFL has announced the fixture schedule, including some potential alterations, through to the end of the season.

DFL announces run-in schedule with potential alterations

DFL (Deutsche Fußball Liga GmbH) has scheduled Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 fixtures through to the end of the season, including an exceptional Monday night game on Matchday 32.

European influence

In accordance with the wishes of police and the ‘Ten-point plan’ to improve safety in football introduced by the League Association in 2010, no fixtures will be played on 1 May. This is a consequence of the additional demands placed on police on this day.

“That the League Association and the Deutsche Fußball Liga have committed themselves to not staging matches on 1 May, thereby complying with the recommendation of the Interior Ministers’ conference, shows a great awareness of responsibility from all parties involved. In light of the burden placed on police, above all given the events of 1 May, this decision is greatly welcomed by all Interior Ministers,” said Klaus Bouillon, Chairman of the Interior Ministers’ Conference and Interior and Sports Minister for Saarland.

Consequently, this Matchday will differ significantly from the usual schedule. A Bundesliga Matchday 32 game will be played on Friday (29 April) and seven fixtures will be staged on Saturday (30 April). The game between SV Werder Bremen and VfB Stuttgart will be played on Monday (2 May, 20:15CET/19:15GMT). For Bundesliga 2, six fixtures will be played on Friday, two on Saturday and one on Monday (18:30CET/17:30GMT).

Definitive decision

However, some of the Matchday 32 and 33 fixtures could be influenced by the results of VfL Wolfsburg in the UEFA Champions League and Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Europa League. The two clubs meet on Matchday 32. Only two days before the scheduled game (30 April), Dortmund could have the first leg of a UEFA Europa League semi-final.  Given that, two options are possible:

Should either Borussia Dortmund or VfL Wolfsburg reach the semi-finals of their respective European competitions, talks between the two clubs would be held to discuss the possibility of playing the fixture on Wednesday, 11 May.

If VfL Wolfsburg does not reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals (first leg April 26/27, second leg May 3/4), it is possible the fixture could be exchanged with that between SV Werder Bremen and VfB Stuttgart. This game would instead then be played on Saturday (30 April), and Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg would meet on Monday (2 May).

On both Matchday 33 and 34, all Bundesliga fixtures are usually played simultaneously on the Saturday. Should Borussia Dortmund have a UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg to play on 5 May, DFL reserves for itself the possibility to schedule the Matchday 33 game between Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund on Sunday (8 May).

With regard to fair play, the Matchday 33 and 34 fixtures should be played simultaneously. However, the chances of German clubs in European competition should also be taken into account. Such an exception is in line with the League Association’s rules (§ 2, 1.): “…the last two Matchdays in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are to be scheduled simultaneously in each division. A derogation can be applied in light of participation by a club in international competition…”

A definitive decision on the scheduling of the fixtures will be taken following the quarter-final second legs of both European competitions in mid-April.