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FOOTBALL

Ballack tells Schweinsteiger to lead World Cup team

Michael Ballack, injured captain of the German national football team, signalled on Wednesday that Bastian Schweinsteiger needed to step up and lead his side to success in the World Cup finals in South Africa this summer.

Ballack tells Schweinsteiger to lead World Cup team
Photo: DPA

The 33-year-old Chelsea midfielder suffered torn ankle ligaments at Saturday’s FA Cup final win over Portsmouth after a heavy tackle from Kevin-Prince Boateng. The German national team doctor then ruled that Ballack, who was a crucial part of their bid to win the World Cup for a fourth time, would not recover in time for the tournament.

“I gave everything for the goal of South Africa,” Ballack told daily Bild from the team’s Sicilian training camp. “It is bitter to be kicked down like that in the last game of the season. It really hurts.”

But now other team members must fill the leadership vacuum before the games begin in South Africa, he acknowledged.

“Schweini must do it now and take on more responsibility,” Ballack said, referring to the 26-year-old Schweinsteiger by his nickname. “He is so confident and has class. I don’t see any others who can set the tone and bring such presence.”

But Ballack said he refused to speculate on who would be chosen to replace him as captain, citing Phillip Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Torsten Frings as potential candidates.

“In the end Jogi Löw must decide alone,” he said of the national team’s coach.

And though his lawyer indicated this week that he would lodge a complaint against Boateng for the “intentional” tackle that effectively ended his World Cup dreams, Ballack said this would not happen.

“That brings nothing,” he said. “I must come to terms my own fate.”

Ballack also said he would not let the foul end his national team career, adding that if the healing process allowed, he would try to attend Germany’s games in South Africa in a show of support.

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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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