Soccer-Dortmund cancel ticket sales for Bayern clash amid rising COVID cases

A picture shows the Borussia Dortmund logo at an entrance of the Westfalenstadion in the western German town of Dortmund February 17, 2005. Borussia Dortmund are in a "life-threatening" financial situation, the German soccer club said on Thursday February 17, 2005. [The former European champions said they had entered talks with creditors in an attempt to resolve their financial crisis and needed a debt moratorium until at least the 2006/07 tax year.]

(Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund have cancelled the sale of tickets for Saturday's marquee match against Bayern Munich due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation in Germany, the Bundesliga club said on Wednesday.

Germany, struggling to contain the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, reported the highest number of COVID-19 related deaths since mid-February on Wednesday (446), with the overall death toll rising to 101,790.

"Because of the current COVID-19 situation in Germany, Borussia Dortmund are cancelling the advance ticket sale for the top of the table Bundesliga clash against Bayern Munich on Saturday," Dortmund said in a statement.

"Those who have purchased tickets will get their money back. All of the 67,000 tickets that were available... had already sold out a few days ago.

"However, the state government is currently expected to reduce game capacities within the next few days due to the pandemic."

On Tuesday, the premier of the eastern state of Saxony had said that Germany will decide on Thursday if all Bundesliga matches should be played in empty stadiums.

Earlier, the premier of the southern state of Bavaria had called for matches to go ahead without fans. He also said that if necessary, Bavaria - home to Bayern - would introduce a spectator ban if it was not implemented nationwide.

Clubs in Germany played in empty stadiums last year when matches resumed following a shutdown due to the pandemic.

Dortmund are second in the league on 30 points after 13 matches, one point behind leaders Bayern.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Rohith Nair)

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