“Grotesque” or “possible”? – union with dream of fan return

With its sensational plan, union berlin is making itself the champion for the return of the fans, and DFB boss fritz keller is also dreaming of full arenas through flat-covering corona tests.

In the debate about a possible return of spectators, the capital club’s plan to fill its stadium with more than 22,000 fans as early as the start of the new bundesliga season has lost momentum.000 negatively tested people to be completely filled, triggered fierce reactions across germany.

The first comments from the worlds of sport, politics and science ranged from "dream" and "understanding" to "almost grotesque" and "indefensible". Numerous questions are still unanswered. The berlin team defends its ambitious advance with an eye on the longing of its supporters. "People are begging us every day to make sure they can come back. That’s what we want to deal with," said communications manager christian arbeit on RBB24.

What is the concept of the iron?

Access to the stadium will only be granted to spectators, employees and other persons who, in addition to an admission ticket, can also present a negative corona test, which must not be older than 24 hours. The club wants to bear the costs of implementation itself. The club wants to concretize the concept with the senate and the responsible health department.

What does the DFB think about the fan opening??

The german soccer federation hopes for flat-covering corona tests, independent of the berlin team’s advance, in order to make it possible for fans to return to the arenas. "My dream would be to use testing to get a full stadium again someday. That would be important not only for sports, but also for the cultural sector and the economy," keller told SWR in an interview conducted before the union’s plans became known. Keller stresses need to listen to scientists.

How does the union plan fit into the concept of the DFL?

The german fubball league had indicated that there would no longer be a central hygiene and security concept as was the case when the youngest season was completed. The local concepts of the clubs, which had to be approved by the relevant local health authorities, were decisive for the admission of fans. So at least the way of the unioner is conform to the DFL statements.

How politics reacts?

Berlin’s sports senator andreas geisel is open-minded. "We understand union’s ambitions. We will meet with the club’s leadership soon to talk about the concept," the SPD politician told the german press agency. "There should be no different solutions within the bundesliga."On the other hand, berlin CDU health politician tim-christopher zeelen considers the plan "almost grotesque". The testing capacity was needed "so that our children can return to kindergartens and schools and to protect our seniors in care facilities". Currently, in berlin rough events with more than 1000 people are still until 24. October prohibited.

Is a test within 24 hours before kickoff meaningful?

Scientists are skeptical. There is a so-called diagnostic gap, explains harald renz, director of the institute for laboratory medicine and pathobiochemistry, molecular diagnostics at the university hospital in marburg, when asked about the problem. It can happen that the coronavirus is not yet detectable in an infected person at the time of the test, but later during the game he is already contagious. The virologist jonas schmidt-chanasit also points out in the "bild am sonntag" newspaper that a corona test is only a snapshot in time. It cannot be ruled out "that spectators will nevertheless become positive after 24 hours and thus infect other spectators in the stadium". In addition, if the tests are not carried out optimally, false negative results can always occur.

Is it possible to have so many tests in a short period of time??

At least it was allowed to become difficult when each fan was tested individually. For example, the ALM laboratory association reported on request that the laboratories in berlin and brandenburg surveyed by the association currently have around 12.000 tests a day. The laboratories participating in the nationwide ALM analysis cover about 85 percent of the total covid-19 diagnostics in germany.

The virologist schmidt-chanasit assumes "that 22.000 tests with cartridge systems, pool testing, and a rough number of swab teams could be handled in the allotted time". In a pool test, several samples are tested at once. If the test is successful, the samples are then tested individually. Cartridge systems can detect the virus comparatively quickly.

What does a corona test cost??

According to renz, laboratories receive between 50 and 60 euros per PCR test from the health insurance companies. The health insurance company pays if a doctor or a health office has arranged the test. If you get tested on your own, you have to pay the costs yourself – which can be quite high.

Is union berlin alone in its desire for full labs??

Of course not. Even if it were possible to run 22.000 soccer fans before a game, other sports clubs, but also clubs, theaters and concert promoters were probably pretty quick to make similar claims. And whether the test capacities will then be sufficient is another matter entirely.