Bundesliga fixture chaos looms as Hertha ask for cancellations amid COVID-19 outbreak

Hertha Berlin have asked the Bundesliga to call off their upcoming games against Mainz on Sunday, Freiburg on Wednesday, and Schalke on April 24 after a positive test result for COVID-19 has forced the entire team and coaching staff into self-isolation for two weeks.

The news has complicated Hertha's bid to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga and is likely to lead to fixture chaos in the league with six rounds remaining to be completed by May 22.

- Stream Bundesliga all season long on ESPN+
- Take our quiz: Which Bundesliga club should you support?

Hertha said on Thursday that Marvin Plattenhardt had tested positive for the coronavirus, adding to earlier positive results for coach Pal Dardai, assistant coach Admir Hamzagic and forward Dodi Lukebakio.

They were all isolating at home without any symptoms, Hertha said. Another assistant coach, Andreas Neuendorf, after being in close contact to those who had tested positive.

The rest of the team and staff had been set to move into closed accommodation until April 28, living together and leaving the site only for training sessions and games, but the local health authority said Plattenhardt's positive result means stricter measures are necessary.

The self-isolation measures mean Hertha won't be able to play any games until they are lifted.

Goalkeeper Rune Jarstein was the first at Hertha to test positive for the virus, announced by the club on April 5.

"We tightened the hygiene measures again during the last international break, and with it the hope that Rune Jarstein's positive result would remain an isolated case. Unfortunately this has not been the case," Hertha's sporting director Arne Friedrich said, who had taken over coaching duties in Dardai's absence.

"Due to the cases that have occurred, we are now forced into a 14-day quarantine at home. From a health point of view, this is absolutely the right step. From a sporting point of view, it affects us, because we now have to fight to stay in the league with six Bundesliga games by the end of the season on May 22."

Hertha are 15th in the 18-team league, just one place above the relegation playoff spot.

"During the quarantine at home, the team will keep fit with virtual training units under the guidance of the coaching team. We accept the situation despite the difficult circumstances and will do everything in our power for a successful season finale," Friedrich added.