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FOOTBALL

Germany begins preparations for Euro final against Spain

Germany's national football team starts on Friday preparing for its Euro 2008 final on Sunday against Spain, as coach Joachim Löw warned players about Spain's strong technique.

Germany begins preparations for Euro final against Spain

“The Spanish have delivered an impressive performance,” Löw said. “They’ve played at a very high level during the whole tournament and their technique has been strong.”

Löw watched the Spain-Russia game on television Thursday night, which ended with a score of 3-0, with his assistant coach Hans-Dieter Flick, goalkeeper coach Andreas Köpke and team manager Oliver Bierhoff.

Spain’s coach, Luis Aragones, also expressed his respect for the other side.

“It’s going to be hard, become our opponent is Germany,” he said.

He will likely have to do without top player David Villa, who was injured in the match against Russia.

Even without Villa, the German team is expecting a difficult task on Sunday night.

“It’s going to be a killer,” said Philipp Lahm, whose goal clinched Germany’s 3-2 victory over Turkey on Wednesday.

German Christoph Metzelder, who plays for Real Madrid, likely best knows what the team is up against. In the final, he will be competing against his fellow club players Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos.

SPORTS

German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

Bundesliga clubs and other German sports venues will be allowed to welcome up to 25,000 spectators from next month, the city of Berlin said Tuesday after a meeting of officials from Germany's 16 states.

German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season
Germany fans at the recent Euro 2020 match in London. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christian Charisius

Most matches in Germany’s top football league were played behind closed doors last season – so-called Geisterspiele or ghost games – because of the Covid-19 virus.

The new Bundesliga season starts on August 13th and with infection rates having fallen sharply, sports stadiums could be at 50 percent capacity, with the total number per match or event capped at 25,000.

The only exception is reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, where up to 20,000 fans will be allowed into home games at the 75,000-capacity Allianz Arena because officials in Bavaria are allowing only 35 percent of capacity.

The new rules apply until September 11 and amid concerns in Germany about the Delta variant of the coronavirus, incidence rates must not exceed 35 new infections per 100,000 people over the previous seven days.

READ ALSO: German states call for uniform Covid rules at big events

If that happens, and “the infection cannot be clearly contained”, a maximum of 5,000 spectators will be allowed into sports events, German officials warned.

Only fans who can prove they are vaccinated or present a negative test will be allowed into stadiums and hygiene rules must be followed.

An easing of the regulations meant crowds of around 14,000 were allowed to attend Euro 2020 matches at Munich’s Allianz Arena over the last three weeks, but fans were largely kept out of German league games last season.

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