Löw passes up Kuranyi for World Cup squad

Germany coach Joachim Löw will not be selecting Schalke 04 striker Kevin Kuranyi for this summer's World Cup, the German football federation announced on Monday.

Löw passes up Kuranyi for World Cup squad
Photo: DPA

Kuranyi has not played for Germany since walking out on the team in 2008 after being left out of the match day squad for a World Cup qualifier, prompting coach Löw to declare he would never pick him again.

“The disciplinary incident in October 2008 did not play a role for me in the end,” said Löw in a statement on the DFB’s website. “But after consideration by our coaching staff we came to the decision that we have other tactical and personnel priorities for the World Cup squad.”

The 28-year-old has had the best season of his career scoring 18 goals with Schalke 04, who are second in the Bundesliga, three points behind leaders Bayern Munich. He has has played 52 times for Germany.

“I’ve discussed this in all openness with Kevin, who has played a strong season and whom I consider a professional of unquestionable character,” Löw said.

Löw clearly feels he has plenty of other choices at the front in the shape of Bayern Munich’s Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez and Stuttgart’s in-form Cacau. Another is Bayer Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiessling, top scorer in the Bundesliga this season, level with Wolfsburg’s Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko with 21 goals.

The final decision on which 23 players will travel to South Africa for the June 11 to July 11 tournament is expected to be made during the team’s training camp in northern Italy in time for FIFA’s June 1 deadline.

“I gave all I could this season on the pitch, but sadly it wasn’t enough,” Kuranyi said. “But it is the national coach’s decision, and I respect and accept it. I wish the coach and all the team all the best for South Africa. Like every fan, I will have my fingers crossed in front of the TV.”

Germany have drawn Australia, Serbia and Ghana in Group D.

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EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches

The German Bundesliga kicks off on Friday evening with a match in Mönchengladbach. Here's a run-down of the Covid rules for football fans itching to join the crowds at the stadium.

EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches
Crowds cheer at a match between FC Kaiserslautern and Borussia Mönchengladbach, on August 9th, 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uwe Anspach

All eyes will be on Mönchengladbach this evening as the Bundesliga season kicks off with a match against reigning champions Bayern Munich – and this time, a crowd will be present in the stadium.

READ ALSO: German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

With several states liberalising their rules for public gatherings in recent months, many football fans are looking forward to enjoying a lively atmosphere at football matches once more. 

There’s just one problem: there are different rules for different stadiums. Here’s what you need to know about the Covid rules before you book your ticket for any of the upcoming fixtures. 

How many fans are allowed in the stadiums? 

According to a recent decision by the federal and state governments, football stadiums around the country are allowed to fill half of their seats and sell up to 25,000 tickets to fans. 

Of course, how much this limit affects the overall atmosphere – and the football clubs’ bottoms lines – depends on the capacity of the stadium. In Borussia Dortmund this weekend, the full 25,000 tickets have been sold – but that only equates to 30 percent of the stadium’s full capacity.

READ ALSO: German football: Which Bundesliga club should I support?

Meanwhile, in the stadium owned by Berlin’s FC Union, selling just 11,000 tickets is enough to fill half of the available seats. 

What do I need to show to get in? 

That really depends on the stadium in question, although in general anyone over the age of six will need to show a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery – the so-called ‘3G’ rule – to enter the grounds. But other clubs, such as FC Cologne, have decided to only permit people who are vaccinated or recovered to attend matches from August 28th onwards – with exceptions for people who can’t get vaccinated, like children and pregnant woman.

At Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park stadium, however, unvaccinated fans can enter with a negative test, though visitors who’ve stayed in a high-risk or virus variant area over the past two weeks will be unable to enter – along with people who’ve had recent contact with someone who has Covid. 

If you want to see action like this at FC Cologne’s stadium, you’ll need to get your Covid jabs sorted first. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund has taken a middle ground. While the 3G rule applies in principle, only 1,000 of the available 25,000 tickets will be sold to people who are providing a negative test. The remaining 24,000 seats will only be available for those who are vaccinated against – or recently recovered from – Covid. 

If you’re not vaccinated and are keen to see a match, it’s worth checking on your local club’s website beforehand or sending them an email to double-check whether you will be allowed in. 

What else do I need to know about? 

You’ll need to bring a FPP2 mask with you to matches to wear in your seat and while heading to the bathroom or bar, and also observe social distancing rules – meaning staying 1.5 metres apart from your fellow fans.

In most states, you’ll also need to provide your contact details, which will be saved by the club and potentially passed on to local health authorities in order to monitor a potential Covid outbreak. 

Will these rules continue throughout the season?

That’s still an open question. If infection rates in Germany continue to rise or high-profile superspreading events occur at future matches, the government could potentially crack down further on sports events in autumn.

This could involve limiting the seat numbers even further, or (more controversially), introducing a ‘vaccinated-only’ rule for entering stadiums. 

READ ALSO: Should Germany bring in Covid restrictions for unvaccinated people only?

A recent outbreak of Covid in the Mainz football team has also dampened celebrations slightly in the run-up to the start of the Bundesliga – leaving club owners urgently calling for both fans and footballers to get vaccinated. 

Speaking to WDR ahead of the season’s start, FC Cologne’s managing director Alexander Wehrle said widespread vaccination was the best route back to normality – a message reiterated by Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann.