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FOOTBALL

Ballack in doubt for Euro final after injury

In what could be a lethal blow for Germany's title hopes, team captain Michael Ballack has been rated as doubtful to play on the eve of Sunday's Euro 2008 final against Spain after straining his right calf in training.

Ballack in doubt for Euro final after injury
Photo: DPA

The 31-year-old Chelsea midfielder damaged his calf in Germany’s final training session on Friday at their Euro 2008 base in Tenero, Switzerland, and has been receiving treatment for the injury.

“We won’t give up hope” that Ballack will be able to lead his squad on the pitch, said team manager Oliver Bierhoff.

Although the team flew to Vienna on Saturday afternoon for Sunday’s final at the Ernst Happel Stadium, Ballack stayed behind at the team hotel for treatment and a decision on whether he plays will be taken just before kickoff.

Ballack missed the World Cup final loss to Brazil in 2002 through suspension.

He is doubly keen to make Sunday’s trophy match after a series of near misses, not least this season with the Champions League final loss to Manchester United, who also beat Chelsea to the Premiership title.

Six years ago he was in the Bayer Leverkusen side which finished runners-up in the German league, the Champions League and the German Cup. The German media suggested that Germany’s chances of winning would be hit hard were he to have to sit out Sunday’s action.

“Germany is trembling,” wrote Bild internet edition, adding Ballack had been complaining of pain since early Friday.

afp/dpa

FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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