Schumi donates to bring Poldi back to play for Cologne

Seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher has paid €875 towards the €10 million ($12.7 million) transfer deal to bring Germany striker Lukas Podolski from Bayern Munich back to Cologne.

Schumi donates to bring Poldi back to play for Cologne
Poldolski and Schumacher in 2006. Photo: DPA

Podolski, 23, will return to Cologne from defending Bundesliga champions Bayern this summer, and football-fan Schumacher was just one of the hundreds of fans who have dipped into their own pockets to help the club finance the deal.

Schumacher, who retired from Formula One in 2006, paid nearly €900 to help his friend fulfill his dream of returning to Bundesliga side Cologne after three unhappy years in Munich.

On the club’s internet site fans can pay €25 for a pixel of a picture of Podolski and if all 40,000 pixels are sold, the club will make a million euros.

So far the website has raised €96,000 towards the transfer, including the money from Schumacher.

“Well, boy, you have followed your heart and that is always good,” wrote Schumacher to Podolski on the website. “Genuine team spirit can be replaced by nothing and I am speaking from experience. My team has always been the most important to me. Now you can show all the fans what the club means to you. I keep my fingers crossed for you.”

The club’s marketing manager Lars Nierfeld told German daily Bild that Schumacher had wanted to help the cause sooner, but had been prevented by injuries during a his motorcycle accident in 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.