PARIS, May 13: German football will find itself in an unaccustomed global spotlight this weekend as audiences starved of live football turn to the only major European league back in action.
With the Premier League, Spain�s La Liga and Serie A in Italy all still sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic, the Bundesliga will take centre stage on Saturday.
Even in Brazil, media coverage has switched from domestic football stories to what TV viewers can expect to see when Borussia Dortmund meet Schalke in the biggest match of the opening day, albeit it without spectators in the stadium.
Cable channel Fox Sports, which holds exclusive rights to show the Bundesliga in Brazil, will be showing the Ruhr Derby at 9:30 am local time. Its website already features a lengthy article about the games entitled �The wait will soon be over�.
Even Brazil�s biggest media group, Globo, is getting in on the act with interviews with four Brazilians who play for Bundesliga clubs, including Wolfsburg midfielder William, who admitted players were �a little bit scared� about the implications for their health.
In India, foreign football leagues have found a market in India�s urban youth who keenly follow the Premier League and support clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. But a few of these fans also watch La Liga and Bundesliga.
�I am desperately waiting for the Bundesliga to start this weekend. I am thirsty for live football action in this lockdown,� Amjad Rehan Ibrahim, a student of Delhi University, told AFP.
Indian international forward Jeje Lalpekhlua said he would also be tuning in to the coverage on Indian broadcasters Star Sports and Hotstar: �It�s difficult without football for so long. I am surely going to watch it.� In Japan, rightsholder Sky Perfect is going to show two Bundesliga matches this weekend free of charge.
In Europe too, the matches in Germany will provide a much-needed fix of live sport. � AFP