Poldi faces anonymous charge for Ballack slap

German footballer Lukas Podolski faces a charge from an anonymous plaintiff for slapping Germany captain Michael Ballack during the national team’s 2:0 victory over Wales last week, daily Express reported on Tuesday.

Poldi faces anonymous charge for Ballack slap
Photo: DPA

“We received an anonymous complaint on Monday,” Günther Feld, a senior prosecutor for Cologne, confirmed to German sports agency SID on Tuesday. In the complaint, Podolski is accused of assault on Ballack, and TV coverage of the match, seen by an estimated 10 million people, is cited as evidence.

The complaint says that a footballer is a public role model, and that “such an act carried out before millions” is unacceptable.

According to the law, a facial slap does count as assault even if the victim is not injured and the assailant apologises afterwards.

Feld told reporters that state prosecutors are currently checking who is responsible for the anonymous complaint, and are deciding whether they will conduct an investigation into Podolski’s actions.

Express reported that since the incident happened abroad, it comes under the jurisdiction of the victim’s hometown – Ballack lives in London – but other news agencies are reporting that the Cologne authorities have turned the matter over to state prosecutors in Munich, where Podolski lives.

“Because the game took place in Cardiff, it is now to be handled in the area of Podolski’s place of residence,” Feld told reporters.

Media reports said that Podolski and Ballack had a tactical disagreement, or that Podolski was directed to put in more of an effort by his captain, to which Podolski allegedly responded, “Run yourself, you ass,” Express reported.

He vehemently denies using such language, but has since offered an apology, calling himself an “idiot” and accepting a €5,000 fine from the German Football Federation (DFB).

Neither the DFB nor Podolski’s club Bayern Munich have commented on the possible court case.


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.