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FOOTBALL

Löw faces ‘brutal’ choices

Germany coach Joachim Löw admits he faces some 'brutal' decisions in the next few days as he looks to cut two players for his World Cup squad in the wake of his side's 3-0 friendly win over Hungary.

Löw faces 'brutal' choices
Photo: DPA

Germany warmed up for South Africa with a convincing win over the hosts at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium on Saturday with a Lukas Podolski penalty and second-half goals by substitutes Mario Gomez and Brazilian-born Cacau.

Löw will sit down with his coaching team to decide which two players will not be travelling to South Africa with the final 23-man squad set to be announced on Tuesday. “There will be lots of speculation in the next few days,” said Löw.

“The coaches will sit down together on Sunday and Monday with the coaching staff and announce the squad on Tuesday.

“Of course, it will hurt for the players concerned, but unfortunately we can only take 23.” Midfielder Marko Marin, Cacau and striker Gomez all impressed, while

Hamburg midfielder Marcell Jansen made his first appearance since suffering an

ankle injury in January.

Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber came off the bench to make his debut, in the second-half, but Löw knows two of his players will soon be suffering World Cup heartbreak without even boarding the plane to South Africa.

“I haven’t yet got the two players in my head who won’t be going,” he admitted. “The decision will be brutal, not only for the players, but also for the coaches.”

Germany begin their World Cup campaign in Group D on June 13 against Australia and fly to South Africa on June 7 after their final warm-up game against Bosnia-Herzegovina next Thursday.

With Germany captain Michael Ballack injured and out of next month’s World Cup, Bayern Munich striker Miroslav Klose took over the skipper’s armband. Having played in last weekend’s Champions League final defeat, Bayern Munich stars Bastian Schweinsteiger and Germany’s new World Cup captain Philipp Lahm were both rested.

Ballack’s replacement alongside Schweinsteiger in the first-choice line-up is likely to be Stuttgart’s Sami Khedira and although he limped off in the second-off, the 22-year-old said there was no problem.

“In the first half, we played well and created a lot of chances,” said Khedira. “I myself have felt some pain, but I walked off at half-time.”

Germany were rarely troubled by the Hungarians and are sure to face much tougher tests in Group D against Ghana, Australia and Serbia in South Africa.

“The Hungarians didn’t have many chances,” said goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. “But on the other hand, it was good that we crated a few goals of our own.”

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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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