German football clubs set to call Brazilians home from Olympics

Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 look set to bring their Brazilian stars home from the Beijing Olympics before a ball is kicked after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled on Wednesday in favour of the Bundesliga clubs' battle with FIFA.

German football clubs set to call Brazilians home from Olympics
Still smiling? Rafinha and Diego might be heading back to Germany. Photo: DPA

Bremen want Brazilian midfielder Diego back in time for the new Bundesliga season which kicks off on August 15, while Schalke also want their Brazil star Rafinha. The clubs both appealed to CAS after arguing against FIFA’s insistence that all players aged 23 and under must be released by their clubs for the Olympics.

“We are pleased with the decision, because we have worked closely with the clubs in this legal matter,” said German Football League spokesman Holger Hieronymus. “It was always our opinion that under FIFA regulations we were not committed to allowing our players to go freely.”

Both Diego and Rafinha travelled to Beijing against the clubs’ wishes. The Olympics tournament begins on Thursday, when Brazil are set to face Belgium.

“FIFA failed to realize the legal implications of this decision early and the preparation of the clubs ahead of the new season has been affected,” Hieronymus.

Despite the ruling, Argentina coach Sergio Batista said he intended to play Lionel Messi in Thursday’s game against Ivory Coast despite Barcelona’s insistence that the player return to Spain.


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.