Chelsea blocks Ballack crisis talks

English Premier League leaders Chelsea have refused to allow Michael Ballack to travel to Germany to meet coach Joachim Löw for crisis talks which could determine the famed football player’s international future.

Chelsea blocks Ballack crisis talks
Photo: DPA

The London club’s coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said that with Ballack still recovering from surgery on his feet, he will stay in England to continue his fight for fitness.

“Ballack plays for Chelsea. If Löw wants to talk to Ballack I invite the coach to come here and stay with us for one or two days and talk to him,” said Scolari.

“But it’s impossible for Ballack to travel now. He is in recovery and is with the doctors. It is not good for Ballack or the Germans.”

“I hope it will not come to a measure which none of us want,” the president of the German football federation DFB, Theo Zwanziger, told TV station Premiere on Friday, alluding to a possible exclusion of Ballack from the national side.

Löw wants to meet Ballack after the Germany skipper claimed the coach did not show enough respect and loyalty to his senior players.

Earlier Friday, Bayern Munich coach Jürgen Klinsmann told Ballack to apologise for his damning criticism of Löw.

“The situation is very simple. Michael must apologise for his comments on the coach and the players,” Klinsmann said.

Löw had demanded that Ballack return to Germany to explain his outburst, with both men speaking to each other on the phone Thursday evening.

“What will become of Michael is ‘Jogi’s’ business. He is the boss, he decides for himself,” said Klinsmann, who took Germany to the World Cup semi-finals in 2006.

The incident began earlier in the week after Ballack told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that: “Experienced national players deserve at least some respect and loyalty.”


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.