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FOOTBALL

UEFA Cup’s ‘Paper Wad of God’ up for auction on Ebay

A fist-sized wad of paper that sparked controversy during a UEFA Cup semi-final between Hamburg SV and Werder Bremen two weeks ago is now for sale on internet auction site Ebay. The auction ends Wednesday night.

UEFA Cup's 'Paper Wad of God' up for auction on Ebay
Photo: DPA

Known to victorious Bremen fans as “The Paper Wad of God” – in a play on Diego Maradonna’s infamous World Cup “Hand of God” – the piece of trash tossed on the pitch became famous for interfering with a pass between Hamburger SV defender Michael Gravgaard and goalkeeper Frank Rost on May 7.

Gravgaard was about save the ball from rolling out of bounds by kicking it to Rost. But the it rolled over the wad of paper and bounced, causing the Danish player to hit the ball over the sideline with his shin.

With seven minutes left in the game, Gravgaard’s goof gave Werder Bremen a corner kick, which midfielder Frank Baumann handily headed into the goal, putting his team ahead 3-1 and eventually a slot in the cup final.

Now broadcaster Sat.1 and sports weekly Sport Bild plan to turn Hamburg SV fans’ misfortune and what they call the “craziest football scene of the year” into cash for a good cause.

The station will auction the ball of paper to the highest bidder at 11 pm on Wednesday night and announce the winner on live television during Thursday’s final UEFA Cup game between Bremen and Ukrainian team Schachtjor Donezk in Istanbul, Turkey.

The money earned will go to a charity that Sat.1 will name in the coming days, the station said.

With just hours to go before the end of the auction on Wednesday afternoon, the paper wad had more than 50 bids, approaching a sum of almost €3,000.

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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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