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DFL asked to make May 1 weekend match free

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DFL asked to make May 1 weekend match free
May 1 weekend free? Borussia Dortmund's mascot and Nuri Sahin. Photo: DPA
11:58 CET+01:00
Pressure is growing on the Bundesliga to keep the weekend over May 1 completely football free – in order to help police forces to manage the demonstrations and riots which usually precede and accompany labour day.

State interior ministers are expected to agree on an appeal to the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL), at the end of the week, according to Der Spiegel.

The magazine reports that a draft statement due to be debated at the interior ministers' meeting justifies the call for a football-free weekend, because “that the night before May 1 regularly involves very personnel-intensive operations which can be critical for the following year.”

Yet the DFL has confirmed that it has set fixtures for Saturday, April 30 next year. It said it had bowed to political pressure to not hold any matches on May 1 itself, in order enable police forces to staff operations concerning demonstrations and riots.

But the DFL said more than that would be very difficult as international fixture plans and television contracts could not be broken.

“If the DFL does not accede to our calls for a match-free May 1 weekend, we will have to consider charging organisers for police operations in the future,” said North Rhine-Westphalia interior minister Ralf Jäger, of the Social Democratic Union.

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