“Return of the Bundesliga: Why, How and What are the Implications of it?”
In mid-May, the Bundesliga became the first European soccer league to continue its operation after the initial break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While other big European leagues like the French Ligue 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie were still on hold, the Bundesliga resumed operations as the first of its kind in Europe. Matches were to take place without audiences and under strict health protocols. The bold move served as an example to other soccer federations like the English Premier League and the Serie A in Italy, which in turn decided to resume operations from June on.
Soccer being the national sport and an important aspect of social life in Germany, Wisma Jerman decided to host a virtual talk show on Saturday, June 6 2020, and discuss these developments with soccer experts from Indonesia and Germany. At the event present were:
- Patrick Sofian Ghigani, a German former professional player who had played for LR Ahlen and SpVgg Unterhaching in the 2. Bundesliga. Besides, he had played in the 3. Bundesliga for SC Pfullendorf and for teams in Tunesia, Greece and the Indonesia Liga1. Currently Patrick holds a UEFA B trainers license and works as a football academy coach in Munich.
- Iwan Nasution, who is an advisor to the FC Bayern Fanclub Indonesia. Prior he was acting Chairman of the FC Bayern Fanclub Indonesia. During his term as chairperson, he showed his support for the team on many occasions, among others directly when the FC Bayern was on tour through Asia as well as indirectly through events that involved the team and the fan club alike like coaching clinics and promotion measures.
- Heiko Leipersberger, referee in the German Landesliga. Heiko is currently active as a referee in the Landesliga Baden-Württemberg, which encompasses clubs within the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Moreover, Heiko also engages as referee in the Bezirksliga Hohenlohe and as Deputy Chairman of the Referee Association in Schwäbisch Hall, Baden-Württemberg.
- Johan Prasetya, assistant coach of Persik Kediri and currently holder of an AFC B trainers license. Before that he was a professional player for the Indonesian Liga 1 teams Arema Malang and Persik Kediri. Currently he is an assistant coach for Persik Kediri in the highest Indonesia league.
The event was held bilingual in Indonesian and German and lasted from 7 pm to 9 pm. After the opening by Maximilian Harnecker, Head of the Language Section at Wisma Jerman and himself a huge soccer fan, Fajar Nugroho who is a teacher at Wisma Jerman, referee and soccer player by virtue took over as the moderator. Under his guidance the guest speakers discussed the latest developments in the Bundesliga from the perspective of players, fans, referees and coaches. The event was welcomed by 45 participants from Germany and Indonesia who followed the lively discussion eagerly. After a Q & A session, the evening ended with an online quiz session and some final words by the speakers and the moderator.