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FOOTBALL

Löw backs down in contract dispute

National coach Joachim Löw ended his stand-off with the German Football Federation (DFB) on Tuesday, as both parties agreed to plough all their efforts into Germany's 2010 World Cup campaign.

Löw backs down in contract dispute
Photo: DPA

“We have agreed upon a clear strategy right up to the World Cup,” Löw said during a televised press conference from the DFB’s base in Frankfurt.

“We agree that our mutual interest is tied to the build-up to the World Cup over the coming weeks and months and we will prepare the team so that it can enjoy a good tournament.”

Löw confirmed, however, that an extension to his contract, which expires in July this year, will not be discussed until after the World Cup (June 11-July 11).

“We have a very high responsibility, and not just vis-a-vis the DFB for this World Cup, but because we are representing Germany in a competition overseas,” he said. “And behind us there are millions of supporters who want and who of course expect the team to play a good tournament.”

DFB president Theo Zwanziger also confirmed that no contract negotiations would take place before the World Cup, but reiterated his faith in Löw.

“The team needs this coach,” Zwanziger said. “We want success and I say it here and now, such success at the World Cup is only possible with this coach.”

The DFB suspended negotiations over a two-year extension to Löw’s contract, citing wage demands made by Löw and the team’s general manager, Oliver Bierhoff.

Löw had been expected to agree to stay on until the 2012 European Championship and on Sunday he declared himself “very angry” with the DFB’s decision to publicise details of their negotiations.

Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had earlier urged the DFB to find a solution with Löw.

The Bayern chief also criticised Bierhoff for having reportedly demanded the right to veto the appointment of Löw’s successor.

“That was not acceptable (but) I think he’s prepared to take a step back,” said Rummenigge, who added that the DFB had made a “serious mistake – the

biggest mistake possible – by publicising the contents of the contract.”

Löw took over as Germany’s national coach in 2006 after two years as an assistant to Jürgen Klinsmann.

Under Löw’s guidance, in 45 games Germany have recorded 31 victories, eight draws and six defeats.

At this summer’s World Cup, Germany have been drawn in Group D with Australia, Ghana and Serbia.

They will enter the competition as one of the favourites, but Löw must resolve problems that include the lack of an obvious first-choice goalkeeper and the poor form of strikers Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski.

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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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