BERLIN: Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund announced on Tuesday that they plan to replace their canceled trip to Asia with a virtual tour of on-line events in August.
Dortmund, who have finished second to Bayern Munich in the German league for the last two years, had planned to take their squad to China and Southeast Asia at the end of the European season, but the trip was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead, Dortmund, which has club offices in Shanghai and Singapore, intends to offer Asian fans the chance to meet the players online and watch live streamed training sessions held in Germany.
Dortmund also plans to hold a series of events at venues across Asia, providing local restrictions due to COVID-19 are met.
The 2020/21 Bundesliga is due to begin mid September and with Dortmund knocked out of the Champions League, which will resume in August, the German club wants to use the time to prepare for next season and link up online with 30 fan clubs across south-east Asia.
In a statement, Dortmund's manager director Carsten Cramer said that after the original tour was canceled, "many fans and partners" in Asia had approached them about an alternative.
"This gave rise to the idea of Dortmund, in close cooperation with our offices in Singapore and Shanghai, being sent digitally to Asia," he added.
Fans in China will be able to live-stream a training session with Chinese commentary and an on-site reporter who will quiz players in an online meet-and-greet.