Ballack to remain national team captain

Michael Ballack will remain captain of the German national football team after clearing the air with coach Joachim Löw – the target of criticism by the Cheslea star.

Ballack to remain national team captain
Photo: DPA

Ballack flew in from London for a whirlwind meeting with Löw on Thursday evening in Frankfurt. The face-to-face chat became necessary after Ballack was forced to apologize for undermining his coach’s authority in recent weeks.

The Cheslea midfielder caused a stink after telling the media that Löw needed to show more respect to senior national team players such as Torsten Frings, who has been sidelined in the squad.

“I’ve realized it wasn’t right to go public and I regret that the impression was created that I wanted to criticize Joachim Löw in his capacity as national coach,” Ballack said in a statement released by the German Football Association (DFB).

Despite his public apology last weekend, there was widespread speculation in the German press that Ballack would at the very least be forced to step down as team captain. But Löw on Friday that all was forgiven – if not forgotten.

“Michael Ballack will remain my captain. But the captain has stick to the rules too,” Löw said. “All sporting and personel decisions will be made by the coaching staff – I’ve made this unequivocally clear to Michael.”


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.