Magath leaving Schalke

FC Schalke 04 coach Felix Magath will reportedly leave the club at the end of the season at the latest. The news comes just hours before the troubled football club takes on Valencia in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Magath leaving Schalke
Photo: DPA

“According to definite information obtained by the WAZ media group … it is a done deal. At the end of the season at the latest, Magath’s Schalke mission will come to an end,” reported the group.

Even a win against Valencia cannot save the 57-year-old, added WAZ, with other media reporting a similar story.

Magath himself told Kicker: “No one has spoken to me. I don’t know anything. I assume that I will be carrying out my contract until 2013.”

Magath’s reported departure came despite him taking the club to the German Cup Final this season and the last 16 of the Champions League after finishing runners-up to Bayern Munich last season.

Schalke earned a 1-1 draw at Valencia on 15 February, putting them in a strong position to advance to the quarter-finals of Europe’s top competition.

But the Royal Blues have had a disappointing Bundesliga campaign and are currently 10th, a full 31 points off the pace set by runaway leaders Borussia Dortmund.

The Schalke faithful have begun to despair of the authoritarian Magath, whose contract was due to run out in 2013.

According to WAZ’s sources, the club’s bosses are looking “for someone like Jurgen Klopp”, Dortmund’s coach who has also been linked to the soon-to-be vacant job at Bayern.

Daily Bild said that Freiburg boss Robin Dutt had been lined up to replace Magath.

The club itself was tight-lipped, with finance director Peter Peters saying: “It’s not my job to comment on that. We have no official statement in the pipeline.”

If confirmed, Magath would be the third Bundesliga boss to be booted out prematurely in three days.

Bayern announced Monday they were parting company with coach Louis van Gaal after a shocking string of three defeats for the German giants— the worst run in more than 10 years.

And on Tuesday, Hamburg announced that coach Armin Veh would leave the club at the end of the season.


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EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches

The German Bundesliga kicks off on Friday evening with a match in Mönchengladbach. Here's a run-down of the Covid rules for football fans itching to join the crowds at the stadium.

EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches
Crowds cheer at a match between FC Kaiserslautern and Borussia Mönchengladbach, on August 9th, 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uwe Anspach

All eyes will be on Mönchengladbach this evening as the Bundesliga season kicks off with a match against reigning champions Bayern Munich – and this time, a crowd will be present in the stadium.

READ ALSO: German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

With several states liberalising their rules for public gatherings in recent months, many football fans are looking forward to enjoying a lively atmosphere at football matches once more. 

There’s just one problem: there are different rules for different stadiums. Here’s what you need to know about the Covid rules before you book your ticket for any of the upcoming fixtures. 

How many fans are allowed in the stadiums? 

According to a recent decision by the federal and state governments, football stadiums around the country are allowed to fill half of their seats and sell up to 25,000 tickets to fans. 

Of course, how much this limit affects the overall atmosphere – and the football clubs’ bottoms lines – depends on the capacity of the stadium. In Borussia Dortmund this weekend, the full 25,000 tickets have been sold – but that only equates to 30 percent of the stadium’s full capacity.

READ ALSO: German football: Which Bundesliga club should I support?

Meanwhile, in the stadium owned by Berlin’s FC Union, selling just 11,000 tickets is enough to fill half of the available seats. 

What do I need to show to get in? 

That really depends on the stadium in question, although in general anyone over the age of six will need to show a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery – the so-called ‘3G’ rule – to enter the grounds. But other clubs, such as FC Cologne, have decided to only permit people who are vaccinated or recovered to attend matches from August 28th onwards – with exceptions for people who can’t get vaccinated, like children and pregnant woman.

At Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park stadium, however, unvaccinated fans can enter with a negative test, though visitors who’ve stayed in a high-risk or virus variant area over the past two weeks will be unable to enter – along with people who’ve had recent contact with someone who has Covid. 

If you want to see action like this at FC Cologne’s stadium, you’ll need to get your Covid jabs sorted first. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund has taken a middle ground. While the 3G rule applies in principle, only 1,000 of the available 25,000 tickets will be sold to people who are providing a negative test. The remaining 24,000 seats will only be available for those who are vaccinated against – or recently recovered from – Covid. 

If you’re not vaccinated and are keen to see a match, it’s worth checking on your local club’s website beforehand or sending them an email to double-check whether you will be allowed in. 

What else do I need to know about? 

You’ll need to bring a FPP2 mask with you to matches to wear in your seat and while heading to the bathroom or bar, and also observe social distancing rules – meaning staying 1.5 metres apart from your fellow fans.

In most states, you’ll also need to provide your contact details, which will be saved by the club and potentially passed on to local health authorities in order to monitor a potential Covid outbreak. 

Will these rules continue throughout the season?

That’s still an open question. If infection rates in Germany continue to rise or high-profile superspreading events occur at future matches, the government could potentially crack down further on sports events in autumn.

This could involve limiting the seat numbers even further, or (more controversially), introducing a ‘vaccinated-only’ rule for entering stadiums. 

READ ALSO: Should Germany bring in Covid restrictions for unvaccinated people only?

A recent outbreak of Covid in the Mainz football team has also dampened celebrations slightly in the run-up to the start of the Bundesliga – leaving club owners urgently calling for both fans and footballers to get vaccinated. 

Speaking to WDR ahead of the season’s start, FC Cologne’s managing director Alexander Wehrle said widespread vaccination was the best route back to normality – a message reiterated by Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann.