The Bundesliga is set to become the first major European league to return this weekend. Matchday 27 will see all the Bundesliga teams go up against one another in empty stadiums as they aim to finish the league by the end of June or the start of August. Fans across the globe will be eager to watch competitive football once again but one individual who won't witness the Bundesliga return is FC Cologne mascot, Hennes the goat.
'Hennes the Ninth' has had nine predecessors before him since FC Cologne introduced the goat as the official Cologne mascot over 70 years ago. The Cologne mascot has not missed a single home match since 2008 but will be forced to stay away from the stadium when Cologne play FSV Mainz over the weekend. The new hygiene rules implemented by the German Football League (DFL) chiefs, will force Hennes to stay away until further notice.
The Cologne mascot will be kept at Kolner Zoo until Bundesliga restrictions are lifted. As per strict new DFL guidelines, Bundesliga return will only allow 322 people in and around stadiums on matchdays. In fact, every Bundesliga mascot across the league will be barred from entering stadiums for the foreseeable future. The DFL earlier said, "personal hygiene measures are the most important actions for protecting against infection".