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Bundesliga return excites Paderborn's Jamilu Collins

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Nigeria and SC Paderborn defender Jamilu Collins has told ESPN he is excited about the return of football in Germany later this month.

The Bundesliga is expected to become the first of Europe's major leagues to resume play following the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.

Germany's Government on Wednesday greenlit the league to return, and the Ordinary Assembly of the German Football League, made up of the 36 clubs in the top two tiers of the nation's football competition, agreed on Thursday to have the first match played on May 16 in order to complete the season by June 30.

Collins told ESPN: "I am happy with the decision made. Everybody has been waiting for this moment, and now it has been made.

"I am really happy that I will be able to get back on the field again, and I am really really excited about it and can't wait to get started."

While play has been cleared to resume, fans will not be allowed to attend fixtures as Germany still has a ban on mass gatherings until Aug. 31.

"It will be a little bit weird playing without fans, but we have to do what we have to do," Collins said.

"What is important at the moment right now is to finish the season, and hopefully our fans will still cheer us watching on TV.

"At the moment, the safety and the health of our fans and people all over the world is very important, so it is safer for them to be at home right now.

"And when it is time for them to come back to watch football again, we will all be happy to see them in the stadium again. But for now we have to do what we have to do, playing indoors without fans, just playing and keeping safe."

Collins, Like other players, struggled to cope with the COVID-19 lockdown, saying: "I missed football so much and it is nice to know that football will be back again this month.

"The lockdown period is really, really difficult, being at home not being able to do what you love and all that. It is very very difficult, but thank God the football is back again and it's very good news for us."

The Bundesliga has nine match days remaining.

Bayern Munich lead the standings by four points from Borussia Dortmund.

Collins's Paderborn are bottom of the table in 18th, and 10 points from safety.