Ballack and Frings back for Russia, Wales clashes

Captain Michael Ballack and veteran midfielder Torsten Frings are back in Germany coach Joachim Löw's squad named for the football World Cup qualifiers against Russia and Wales.

Ballack and Frings back for Russia, Wales clashes

Chelsea midfielder Ballack and Werder Bremen’s Frings both missed Germany’s opening qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Finland last month. Frings broke his nose playing basketball while Ballack withdrew with a foot injury, but both are back as Germany look to consolidate their place at the top of Group Four having beaten Liechtenstein 6-0 and drawn 3-3 in Helsinki.

Germany play Russia in Dortmund on Saturday October 11 and Wales in Mönchengladbach on October 15.

Five players have been brought back by Löew, including goal-keeper Rene Adler, defender Arne Friedrich as well as midfielders Ballack, Frings and Schalke 04’s Jermaine Jones. Bayer Leverkusen striker Patrick Helmes has also been added having scored seven goals in six games.

“We expect big things of Patrick Helmes in the future,” said Löw. “He has proved what potential he has and has been impressive for his club in recent weeks. “Likewise Jermaine is physically very strong at present and we have paid close attention to him.”

As well as Leverkusen’s Adler and Hanover’s Robert Enke, Löw has named

Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese. There is no place in the squad for Real Madrid defender Christoph Metzelder who has struggled to make the Spanish giant’s first-team this season.

“We had a good discussion and he will play a part in our planning,” said Löw. “But we agreed that he is to train hard and win his place back at Real. We have three good alternatives for the two centre-back positions in Per Mertesacker, Heiko Westermann and Serdar Tasci.”


Goalkeepers: Robert Enke (Hanover), Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen), Tim

Wiese (Werder Bremen)

Defenders: Clemens Fritz (Werder Bremen), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Serdar Tasci (VfB Stuttgart), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04)

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea ENG), Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg)

Forwards: Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart), Patrick Helmes (Bayer Leverkusen), Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich), Kevin Kuranyi (Schalke 04), Lukas Podolski (Bayern Munich)


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.