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FOOTBALL

Stuttgart beats Schalke to stay in title race

Stuttgart remains in the Bundesliga title race after Romanian striker Ciprian Marica scored the winner in a 2-1 win at Schalke to stay two points behind leaders Wolfsburg with two games left on Wednesday night.

Stuttgart beats Schalke to stay in title race
Photo: DPA

Stuttgart are fourth in the table, but only two points separate the top four teams with Wolfburg, Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin – who all won on Tuesday – still in contention to be crowned champions when the season ends on May 23.

“That was a very important win for us,” said Stuttgart coach Markus Babbel, whose side now face Energie Cottbus and Bayern in their last two games and need to finish in the top three to qualify for the Champions League.

“Now we have to be just as focused against Cottbus and then set ourselves up for the last day of the season clash with Bayern Munich. It is important to keep winning and try to get the European place.”

Stuttgart’s Brazil striker Cacau put his side ahead on 15 minutes with a good strike from 20 metres, but Schalke came back when Croatia midfield Ivan Rakitic curled in a free-kick on 39 minutes to make it 1-1.

In the second-half, Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger drove a shot at Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer who could only parry his shot and Marica stabbed home the ball on 56 minutes to give his side three points.

Hamburg are fifth, but remain five points behind the leaders, effectively putting them out of the title race, after Croatia striker Ivica Olic netted twice as they hammered Bochum 3-0.

Germany midfielder Torsten Frings scored twice, including a penalty, as Werder Bremen routed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 as the UEFA Cup finalists stay 10th in the league.

In the relegation battle, Borussia Mönchengladbach took a huge step towards safety with their second consecutive win when Brazilian Dante scored in injury time to seal a 1-0 win over Energie Cottbus.

The result leaves ‘Gladbach 14th, but only three points separate the bottom four places while Hoffenheim are seventh after their 2-0 win at Arminia Bielefeld.

On Tuesday, Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko scored twice along with Grafite in the German league leader’s 3-0 win over Borussia Dortmund.

With Hertha winning 2-0 at Cologne and Bayern Munich enjoying a 3-0 victory over Bavaria neighbours Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg stay top only by virtue of a better goal difference.

Bayern also have 63 points, but are two goals worse off. Hertha are third on 62 points.

Defending champions Bayern, who on Wednesday named Louis van Gaal as their new coach, scored all their goals after the half-time break with Luca Toni, Franck Ribery and Lukas Podolski all on target.

Hertha Berlin are in touch with the leaders after their 2-1 win at Cologne thanks to Brazilian Cicero and midfielder Patrick Ebert while the home side pulled back a late consolation goal.

Bottom side Karlsruhe look almost certain to be relegated as they squandered a 2-0 lead to slump to a 3-2 defeat at home to Hanover and the league’s last team are four points from safety with two games left.

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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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