Dynamo Dresden have been ordered into a 14-day quarantine after two new coronavirus cases, the Bundesliga 2 club announced on Saturday in what could be a major blow to German football ahead of its scheduled restart on May 16.
With just seven days left until the resumption of the league season, Dynamo Dresden's entire squad will go into 14-day quarantine, the club confirmed in a team statement.
Given the length of the quarantine, Dresden could miss up to three of their final nine matches of the season. The season was suspended on March 13. The German Football League (DFL) have announced they will determine their next steps early next week.
"It's a fact that we won't be able to train or play in the next 14 days," Dresden sporting executive Ralf Minge said. "We are in contact with the local health authorities and the DFL to coordinate the next steps."
One Dresden player had already tested positive during the first wave of tests. Of the 42 tests from the third wave on Friday, two came back positive, the club said.
Dresden resumed full-contact team training on Thursday. They had been training in small groups since April 8.
The club said they took great efforts to follow the DFL's medical plan in recent weeks and the measures taken now were derived from the local health authorities' code of conduct as well as the league's medical plan.
Dresden, who are sitting at the bottom of the second division, were set to travel to Hannover on Sunday. Subsequent match against Greuther Furth also will fall into the 14-day quarantine period and the following mid-week match at leaders Arminia Bielefeld would have to be played after four training sessions.
The league must complete nine matchdays to finish the season and the 36 clubs making up the German Football League have said they are committed to ending the campaign by June 30.
Later on Saturday, DFL CEO Christian Seifert told ZDF Sportstudio the league had always said local health authorities must make the final call if players tested positive.
"If they decide it's 14 days, it is 14 days," Seifert said before adding: "We won't change our goals, but just the plans. And the goal has been to finish the season. It was clear that something like this could happen."
"Only two out of 81 Bundesliga 2 games are affected, currently," he said, reiterating the league's commitment to finish the season. "We will look at this next week also with the other second-division clubs."
Asked if Dresden's quarantine was a setback, Seifart was positive.
"It's not a setback. It was always clear it could happen," he said.
On Wednesday, the German government paved the way for Bundesliga to become the first major European league to return to action amid the coronavirus pandemic. A day later, DFL set May 16 as the date for the resumption of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2.
All players and staff of the 36 clubs of Germany's upper two tiers previously had been tested twice for the coronavirus. The 12 positive cases among the more than 3,400 tests had to self-isolate. However, following the DFL's medical plan and after receiving clearance by local health authorities, the teams were cleared to continue training.
In line with the DFL's medical plan, all clubs have to go into a seven-day quarantine training camp ahead of the restart. All clubs resumed full-contact team training this week.