May 19, 2020 / 4:52 PM / 19 days ago

Soccer: German soccer boss proposes salary caps

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group C - Germany v Belarus - Borussia-Park, Moenchengladbach, Germany - November 16, 2019 President of the German Football Association Fritz Keller before the match REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler

(Reuters) - The head of Germany’s football federation (DFB) proposed salary caps to help make the sport more sustainable, saying the coronavirus pandemic offered a chance to implement reforms for the future.

Germany’s Bundesliga on Saturday became the first major European football league to resume after a continent-wide stoppage due to the coronavirus, thanks to thorough testing of players and staff.

“We must bring professional football closer to the people again,” said DFB president Fritz Keller, according to the federation’s website. “We have to think about a salary cap.”

“Commissions for player advisors and huge transfer sums are increasingly irritating society and alienate it from our beloved sport,” he added.

He said German football needed to be self-critical, and the COVID-19 crisis “offers the opportunity to look ahead and to reposition football in order to preserve it for future generations.”

He said football’s coronavirus testing capacity could meanwhile help society in general.

“I see football as having a responsibility to contribute... Preventive and large-scale testing could help to contain the virus until a vaccine is developed,” he said.

“Should politics and science decide in favour of preventive testing, football will make its contribution to the success of this measure: with its unifying power, popularity, logistics and infrastructure.”

Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by John Stonestreet

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