Clubs urged to hold silence for Malanda

Clubs have been encouraged to pay tribute to the late Junior Malanda, on the day his funeral took place in Brussels.

Bundesliga clubs have been urged to hold a minute's silence for Junior Malanda at their first fixtures back after the mid-season break.

The Wolfsburg midfielder, 20, died in a car accident earlier this month when he was reportedly travelling to catch a flight to South Africa to join up with the rest of the squad for their winter training camp.

Belgium Under-21 international Malanda's funeral took place in Brussels on Tuesday, with some of the country's biggest footballing stars, including Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Christian Benteke, among the mourners.

The German Football League (DFL) marked the day by encouraging clubs to pay tribute to Malanda when the top flight returns.

"In memory of Junior Malanda, a player for VfL Wolfsburg, who died in a tragic accident, DFL recommends holding a minute’s silence at all stadiums prior to the kick-off at the matches marking the commencement of the second half of the Bundesliga season from 30 January until 1 February," read a statement. 

"In addition, DFL will leave it to all clubs to decide at their discretion whether players may wear black arm bands."

Wolfsburg host Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on January 30.