The DOSB and DFB are campaigning for the return of amateur sport ©Getty Images

The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and German Football Association (DFB) have started a joint petition calling for amateur sport to be allowed to resume in the country.

Organised sport is currently subject to strict restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the name "Outside must be inside", the petition calls for Germany's Government to allow the return of organised sport in the open air - first training and then competition as well.

The DOSB's 27 million members have been encouraged to sign, and so too the DFB's more than seven million, with the petition to remain online for the next three weeks.

"'Outside must be inside' stands for everything we are currently striving for: we are fighting for the urgently needed new beginning for German sport," said DOSB President Alfons Hörmann.

"We need a return to regular sports operations for all members and all sports.

"The clubs and associations, but also the health and social life of large parts of our population, depend on something finally moving again. 

"We welcome the initiative of the DFB, appeal to our member associations to join the campaign and to all members to support the petition."

Germany's amateur sport has been halted for more than six months since restrictions were re-implemented in October 2020.

The DOSB claims the hygiene protocol previously put in place for sports such as football would be sufficient in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

During the DFB-Pokal final, German football's premiere domestic cup competition, a large banner in Berlin's Olympiastadion advertised the petition.

Borussia Dortmund defeated RB Leipzig 4-1 at the DFB-Pokal ©Getty Images
Borussia Dortmund defeated RB Leipzig 4-1 at the DFB-Pokal ©Getty Images

"The amateur clubs and their athletes have repeatedly been ignored and forgotten in the decisions," said Ronny Zimmermann, the DFB vice-president.

"This has to end now, especially for our children and young people. 

"Sport is important, sport has a high social value, sport is healthy for body and soul - even in the pandemic.

"Fast, concrete perspectives are now required, and this has not only been the case since the current developments in vaccination and the incidence values that give rise to hope in Germany. 

"As disagreed as the DFB may seem at the moment, we are all behind this petition, there are no two opinions. 

"The clubs work extremely responsibly, as they proved at the restart last year. 

"The amateur sport must finally be heard more strongly on the basis of all available facts. 

"We want to find a sustainable way out of the crisis. 

"What is needed is a new spirit of optimism for club sport, for exercise, joy and the feeling of community."

To date, there have been in excess of 3.58 million cases of COVID-19 in Germany, resulting in the deaths of 86,481 people.