Germany keen to impress in friendly against South Africa

Germany coach Joachim Löw insists his team will impress in Saturday's friendly against South Africa as the national side looks to improve its performance ahead of their World Cup qualifiers.

Germany keen to impress in friendly against South Africa
Photo: DPA

“We are well aware that we disappointed our fans in recent games, as we failed to reach our full potential,” admitted Löw after his side struggled to a 2-0 win against minnows Azerbaijan last month.

Germany plays Azerbaijan again in a World Cup qualifier in Hanover next Wednesday, but faces the biggest challenge of the campaign to reach the 2010 World Cup so far when the team faces Russia in Moscow on October 10.

“Against South Africa and then against Azerbaijan, we need to control the action, we need to return to that dominance that has been the signature of our game in the past,” Löw said ahead of the clash with the World Cup hosts.

“I feel certain that we will succeed.”

Since succeeding Jürgen Klinsmann as national coach in August 2006, Löw has registered 28 wins, six losses and six draws as well as having reached the final of Euro 2008 when his team lost 1-0 to Spain in Vienna last June.

Bayern Munich striker Mirsolav Klose is expected to make his 90th appearance for Germany at the South Africa match in Leverkusen as he looks to add to the 45 goals he has scored for his country.

South Africa and Germany have met three times so far: a scoreless draw in 1995 in Johannesburg, and a 3-0 home-win in Düsseldorf in 1997 before Germany won the last encounter in September 2005 in Bremen when Lukas Podolski scored three goals in a 4-2 win.

South Africa coach Joel Santana has said his side may be underdogs but insisted they would not be overawed.

“There are underdogs and there are giants, but the beauty of the game of football is that after the match has started anything can happen,” said Santana, whose side are ranked 73rd in the world.

“It will be a difficult match, but we are confident.”

After finishing fourth in the Confederations Cup last June, Santana says his team was almost ready for the World Cup next year.

And South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena said his team was taking the match very seriously and was eager for the opportunity to attempt an upset, despite a few injuries.

“The Germans are experienced, but I think we have what it takes to face them and we will have to show our mettle,” said the Portsmouth star.

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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.