A Green Light for Austrian Football - Reactions from Hütteldorf
Today’s government press conference given by Health Minister Rudi Anschober and Minister of Sport Werner Kogler allowed for Bundesliga teams to resume training on the 15th May, and paved the way for league matches (and the ÖFB Cup final) to restart in a few weeks' time, unfortunately with no fans present in the stadia. Exact fixtures and dates have not yet been confirmed, but we will of course keep you informed as soon as we can.
This is what SK Rapid Business Managing Director Christoph Peschek had to say after the conference:
"First of all, I would like to express my sincerest thanks for the fact that there's now the first sign of that welcome light at the end of the tunnel. With the restart of team training and the resumption of matches, a very important first step has been taken. In our hearts, games behind closed doors are painful for us as a club with so many supporters, and normally they would be unimaginable for us. But in this exceptional situation they serve as a means to an end, namely to bring a sporting conclusion to the Bundesliga season.
Of course, these games bring their own kind of economic damage, but if they were to be abandoned this would be even greater, entailing yet more damaging economic consequences. The health of our players, coaches and support staff has to be the top priority. Following the numerous health measures that we have already taken, SK Rapid's prevention plan will be actionable and of course, implemented to the letter. We are positive that scientific monitoring [of the games] can also bring important insights for sports and society. As the country’s most popular club we are well aware of our own responsibility and our position as an example for others. Together with our players, coaches and staff we will comply with all guidelines and make our own contribution towards the gradual resumption of our much sought-after normality.
Football, with its clubs at the heart, is a cultural asset, but also plays an economic role, and in order to secure this for the future we hope that the financial support measures that were announced will be implemented soon.
Austrian football still faces a fight for survival and therefore we hope that developments in the fight against the Corona virus will continue to be positive, and that we will be able to pursue our true purpose - playing football in front of our amazing fans - as soon as possible, because they are the reason we play football."
The club's Managing Director for Sport, Zoran Barisic, said:
"I would like to start by giving thanks to all those who were involved in finding a viable way to proceed. Football can thus become a trailblazer for all other team sports, and I’m convinced that all clubs will act professionally and in compliance with all of the new regulations put in place under this new framework.
Fortunately, we now have a clear path ahead, and a date to work towards. All clubs are facing the same conditions, and our players are already on the starting blocks waiting to resume their careers. The small group training sessions that have taken place since April 21st were important for our preparation, but of course that could not make up for the lack of full team training, which will now be allowed as of May 15th. Health must and will continue to be our main focus, and all of us at SK Rapid will continue to act responsibly, and are looking forward to the challenges ahead."