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FOOTBALL

End-of-season football riots break out

Police reported several serious riots on the final day of the German football season, as fans of relegated clubs released their frustrations.

End-of-season football riots break out
Photo: DPA

A total of 66 people, including three policemen, were injured in fighting in the town of Bochum in North Rhine-Westphalia on Saturday, following the relegation of VfL Bochum football club. The police have charged 21 people.

Bochum were relegated from Germany’s top division, the Bundesliga, on Saturday after being beaten 3:0 at home to Hannover 96. The result also meant that Hannover escaped relegation.

Several Bochum fans invaded the pitch at the final whistle, and attempted to attack their team’s players and stewards. Police used batons and pepper spray to drive back the attackers, who retaliated by throwing stones, cans and seats.

At the same time, around 200 fans protested outside the management offices behind the main stand. The police formed a chain behind the stadium in order to prevent further violence, and as the fans attempted to break through the line, the police used pepper spray to keep them back.

There was also violence in the old town centre of Düsseldorf, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, on the eve of the final second division match between Fortuna Düsseldorf and Hansa Rostock. Police arrested 160 fans after several fights broke out, with rioters attacking officers with glasses, bottles and fireworks. Fourteen policemen were injured.

A police spokesmen said that more than 90 percent of those arrested were Rostock fans. They had apparently travelled to Düsseldorf a day before the match in order to spend the night in local bars. Several had travelled by bus, while others had made the trip from Rostock by boat, arriving shortly before midnight.

The match has long been regarded as a risk by police, who had warned of possible violence in advance. Hundreds of officers are expected to be on duty around the stadium. Rostock will almost certainly be relegated to the third tier of German football for the first time in their history if they fail to win on Sunday.

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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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