On Friday, the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) announced it would be postponing Bundesliga matchday 26 in light of the developments surrounding the spread of the coronavirus.
“From our perspective, this is the only viable solution given how quickly things are developing. Currently, the main focus is to prevent the virus from spreading further,” said FCA head coach Heiko Herrlich. Stefan Reuter, FCA’s sporting director, agreed. “Preparing for this matchday was already extremely difficult with the topic of coronavirus overshadowing everything else," Reuter said. "In a situation like this, one which affects society as a whole, football also needs to step up and do its part.”
"Following the matchday being postponed and the season being put on hold until the end of the international break, we at FCA have decided to take special precautions," said Michael Ströll, the CEO of FCA. As a result, the club will reduce its activity starting Monday for a period of seven days. This means that the fan shop at the WWK ARENA will remain closed until Sunday, 22nd March. The club's head office will also be closed during this time. Day-to-day operations will be undertaken by a skeleton crew of employees who will be working from home. The same will be true for the club's youth academy. Training sessions for the FC Augsburg youth teams have also been suspended until 22nd March in order to meet the duty of care owed to the youth players.
"Schools and daycares will all be closed as of Monday and we want to meet our social responsibilities as well by taking these steps. Although we currently do not have any employees at the club or within the teams who have the virus, we want to take steps to mitigate any potential risks for our players and employees," said Michael Ströll.
Despite the upcoming matchday being postponed, FCA will continue to train over the upcoming days. The sessions planned for Saturday and Monday will continue as planned, while the players will have Sunday off. In light of the current situation, all training sessions will take place behind closed doors. The reduction in the number of staff on duty will help minimize personal contact to the team. These preventative measures also mean that FCA will not be offering any interview opportunities over the next few weeks. "We ask for your understanding in this matter. In this trying time, there are certainly more important topics than football to report on," said both Stefan Reuter and Michael Ströll.