Games in Germany's Bundesliga could start happening behind closed doors as soon as May 9 according to three prominent politicians.
The league's governing body - the Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) - are to meet on Thursday to discuss the next steps towards a return to play.
No games have been played in Germany since early March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But some teams like Bayern Munich have already returned to training, albeit in smaller, managed groups and with strict health and safety rules in place.
Speaking with Bild, Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet has backed a resumption of league action by early next month.
"The prerequisite is that there is a well-thought-out plan", according to Laschet.
"What the DFL has presented these past few days shows that protective measures are in place.
"I could imagine that we can return with ghost games [behind closed doors]".
Football in Germany is officially suspended until April 30 at the earliest. Large scale public mass gatherings are barred until August 31, but around the country restrictions are beginning to ease.
Laschet told the magazine that provided the DFL's measures are given the OK by the federal Health Ministry, then "May 9 is a conceivable date where you could start."
Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soder was more cautious, warning that, "Even ghost games are a tightrope walk".
Bremen's Senator for Sport Anja Stahmann insists everything must be watertight before the different regions can allow football to return, "The German Football League must create the strictest hygienic and medical conditions, enforce them and check them with appropriate measures."
She added that the games must be broadcast with the fewest staff possible, and again under strict conditions.
While the Bundesliga and clubs must also ensure that no fans gather at the empty stadiums around the games.