Live sporting events returned in the United States on Sunday, and now sports are making a return in other parts of the world as well. Germany’s Bundesliga became the first European soccer league to return to action when they resumed their season on Saturday.
Bundesliga is extremely popular in Germany and other parts of Europe, and it will give sportsbooks a chance to offer bets on more live sporting events. The Bundesliga is set to host games from Saturday to Monday, with all of the matches taking place without the presence of fans.
Other professional soccer leagues throughout Europe are expected to return to action at some point in June, but Bundesliga got the jump on the other leagues. The coronavirus has affected each country in Europe a little bit differently, and German officials felt comfortable allowing the league to resume.
There were several changes to the action in matches that took place on Saturday and Sunday, but the intensity was still there. Players were extremely physical, and there were some minor scrums.
The Bundesliga prohibited pre-match handshakes and team photos, but they were not able to keep the players separated once the match began. Soccer balls were disinfected both before and during the matches, and the stadiums were eerily quiet without fans in the stands.
The league also created rules to keep goal scorers from hugging their teammates in celebration, but that didn’t stop players from Hertha Berlin from having a normal celebration. Bundesliga officials noted that teams won’t be fined or suspended for hugging after a goal.
One of the teams in the league is trying to come up with a solution to fill the stadium, but they were unable to try out their plan this weekend. Borussia Monchengladbach has announced that they will be filling the stands with over 16,000 life-size cut-outs of fans to create a normal game day experience. The stadium, Borussia Park, has a capacity of 60,000 fans, but the team is making an effort to provide some of the normal feel.
Sportsbooks all over the world welcomed The Bundesliga back with open arms. William Hill reported that they saw a drop of close to 90 percent in total betting action in the United States, and almost 70 percent worldwide.
The Belarussian Premier League had been the only professional soccer league up and running, and they were prominently featured by several sportsbooks. Most sportsbooks will remove the BPL from their books as more and more European leagues return to action.
The top-tier of The Bundesliga was suspended in March, leaving teams with 11 games left in the regular season. Bayern Munich was in first place by four points when the league shut down, and they came out of the break with a 2-0 victory on Saturday.
Bayern Munich is the huge betting favorite to win the league title, which would be their 30th championship of all time.
Bayern Munich will travel to Borussia Dortmund next week for a huge clash of the top two teams in the league. Munich is the betting favorite in that match at +100, while Dortmund is currently listed at +230.
Now that The Bundesliga has now returned to action, sportsbooks and soccer fans will be looking to another trio of leagues to resume their play. The English Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A are all planning to resume in mid-June, but they are still working with health officials.
Ligue 1 out of France and Holland’s Eredivisie have both canceled their 2020 seasons due to the pandemic. Government officials in those countries would not let the soccer leagues resume play.