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FOOTBALL

Frings snubbed in World Cup qualifier line-up

Michael Ballack has been called up for Germany's World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in Baku on August 12 but coach Joachim Löw has left veteran midfielder Torsten Frings out of his line-up.

Frings snubbed in World Cup qualifier line-up
Photo: DPA

Ballack, 32, was forced to fly home early from his club Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the United States with a fractured toe, but the midfielder is set to figure in the Community Shield clash with Manchester United on Sunday.

Löw admitted on Thursday that before the start of the German football season this week he had opted to play it safe.

“Calling up players even before the first day of the Bundesliga is not an easy thing … that’s why we’ve decided mainly to take players that we know well,” explained Löw.

Löw, however, opted to overlook Frings, who has been out of favour since Euro 2008, when Germany finished runners-up.

“Torsten is a very experienced player with almost 80 caps who, if he is called up, has to take to the field. I’ve spoken to him and told him that for the moment Thomas Hitzlsperger had the advantage in this position,” said Löw.

Since the Euro 2008 the 32-year-old Frings has made just one six-minute appearance in a World Cup qualifier against Russia, and played in a 1-0 friendly loss to Norway earlier this year.

Without a regular replacement in goal since the international retirement of Jens Lehmann, Löw has opted for the experienced hands of Robert Enke (Hanover) and Tim Wiese (Bremen), over the new guard Rene Adler (Bayer Leverkusen) and Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04).

The only newcomer in the line-up is Stuttgart midfielder Sami Khedira. Brazilian striker Cacau, who recently gained German citizenship, has been called up after his participation in the tour of Asia earlier this summer.

Germany are currently leading Group 4 one point ahead of Russia, who they play on October 10.

Azerbaijan, coached by German Berti Vogts, are fifth with one point.

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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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