Germans ditch winter break
The Bundesliga's traditional winter break will be cut by three weeks to three-and-a-half weeks from the 2009-10 season, the German Football Federation announced Thursday.
The change to the German first division's calendar will allow the national team to prepare in better conditions for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, should it qualify, according to the federation.
The move means that the opening round of matches of the 2009-10 season will be held between August 7-10 with the 34th and final round of matches coming on May 8, 2010. The winter break will be between December 21 and January 15.
"The compromise found by the federation and the German league is absolutely positive for preparations for the 2010 World Cup," federation secretary-general Wolfgang Niersbach said.
German league chief Holger Hieronymus also welcomed the move.
"Our championship has the longest break in Europe. We need to have more weekend games because those played in midweek aren't interesting enough for the clubs from a financial point of view, or for the fans," he said.