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FOOTBALL

Germany faces Australia, Ghana and Serbia

Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff said on Friday Die Mannschaft had drawn a tough yet surmountable challenge in Australia, Ghana and Serbia for the group stage of the 2010 World Cup finals.

Germany faces Australia, Ghana and Serbia
Photo: DPA

Germany will open their 2010 campaign in Group D against Australia in Durban on June 13, then play Serbia in Port Elizabeth on June 19 before the pool stage final game against Ghana at Johannesburg’s Soccer City on June 23.

But Bierhoff was happy to have avoided danger sides France and Portugal who qualified through the play-offs and could potentially have landed in the same group as the Germans.

“We are glad we did not draw France or Portugal, but Australia, Serbia and Ghana will also not be easy,” admitted former Germany striker Bierhoff.

Germany have never been beaten by any of their three World Cup opponents in previous meetings, but will be most concerned about Australia who reached the last 16 at the 2006 World Cup. It took a penalty deep into injury-time for Italy to overcome the Socceroos in Germany and continue their run to the crown.

Germany were also given a scare when they beat Australia 4-3 in the Confederations Cup in 2005 on their last meeting when a late Lukas Podolski goal proved to be the winner.

And Germany also won the 1974 World Cup group stage clash against Australia 3-0 in Hamburg on their way to winning the world crown.

African side Ghana were beaten 6-1 by the Germans in a friendly in 1993 and Germany had to come from behind to be seal a 2-1 victory against Serbia in a pre-Euro 2008 friendly.

“We are quite happy with this draw, it’s an interesting group,” said coach Joachim Löw. “We already started a tournament against Australia when we played at the 2005 Confederations Cup and we had some difficulties against them.”

He also said he did not underestimate Serbia’s technical prowess, which allowed them to dominated their qualification group.

“As for Ghana, for me they are one of the best teams out of Africa along with the Ivory Coast and Algeria,” Löw said. “Now we can focus on getting our preparations right ahead of the first game on June 13.”

The draw means Germany could potentially meet Group C favourites England in the first knock-out phase and Löw was enthusiastic about the prospect of facing their archrivals.

“England in the knock-out phase would be a great game for us, without question,” said Löw.

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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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