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FOOTBALL

Panathinaikos blitz Bremen’s Champion League hopes

Greek side Panathinaikos picked up their first Champions League win on Tuesday and left Werder Bremen's dreams of progressing in tatters after they suffered a 3-0 home defeat on Tuesday night.

Panathinaikos blitz Bremen's Champion League hopes
Photo: DPA

“We do not need to hide anything, we were completely outplayed and we didn’t finish any of the opportunities we created ourselves,” said bitterly disappointed Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf. “That was a huge disappointment.”

And midfielder Frank Baumann summed up the team’s low mood: “We wanted to get three points and improve our position in the table, but we totally flopped.”

But the Greeks were all smiles after their impressive win with Dutch coach Henk ten Cate giving a wry grin before saying: “I am very pleased, the boys did well.”

Greek striker Evangelos Mantzios – the scourge of Bremen with his two goals in the 2-2 draw in Athens a fortnight ago – grabbed the first on 58 minutes before midfielder Georgios Karagounis hit a wonderful volley 12 minutes later. And Bremen were sent crashing to the bottom of the group when Alexandros Tziolis hit the third from just outside the penalty area with 83 minutes gone.

Before Tuesday night’s clash at the Weserstadion, Panathinaikos had just one point in Group B after their defeats to Inter Milan and Anorthosis Famagusta plus their draw with Bremen in Athens a fortnight ago. But his side went some way to taking the pressure off ten Cate with a

superb win in Germany.

After a lacklustre first-half from both sides, the game finally burst into life when Panathinaikos strung together some decent attacking football. Mantzios broke the deadlock when he slotted home after a finely-weighted through ball from Tziolis.

It gave Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese precious little chance and Werder’s shot-stopper was left red faced again on 70 minutes when Jose Sarriegi’s throw in was met by Karagounis who hit a breath-taking dipping volley from the left corner of the box to double the Greek side’s lead.

And Panathinaikos put themselves right back in contention to reach the competition’s first knock-out phase next year when Tziolis found the bottom corner on 83 minutes despite slipping as he fired the ball home.

Having well and truly slipped on the Greek banana skin, Bremen are now in a precarious position with two games left at Famagusta later this month and home to Inter Milan in December.

But Panathinaikos have at least given themselves a fighting chance of making the next round with ties at Inter and home to Famagusta.

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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