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FOOTBALL

Löw says Germany not in ‘headless-chicken mode’ after loss

Coach Joachim Löw insisted on Saturday that Germany's shock defeat to Serbia at the World Cup had not sent them into 'headless-chicken mode' and he was still confident of reaching the last 16.

Löw says Germany not in 'headless-chicken mode' after loss
Photo: DPA

Having hammered Australia 4-0 in their opening match, Germany were brought crashing down to earth on Friday when Milan Jovanovic’s first-half goal gave the Serbians a 1-0 win to throw Group D wide open.

Just a minute before Serbia scored, striker Miroslav Klose was sent off for a second yellow card and Lukas Podolski later saw his second-half penalty saved during Germany’s first group-stage defeat at a World Cup since 1986.

But despite the set-back, Löw said he was confident his side would beat Ghana at Johannesburg’s Soccer City on Wednesday and reach the knock-out phase.

“I don’t think such a defeat will send us into headless-chicken mode,” said

Löw. Germany, Ghana and Serbia are all on three points in Group D ahead of

Saturday’s Ghana-Australia clash in Rustenburg.

“Despite all the disappointment of last night, I woke up with a good gut feeling because in the second half, we showed great morale and the team created some good goal-scoring opportunities,” he said.

“We can take some confidence: we played with our heads up, there is a mood of defiance in the air and everyone is sure we can reach the last 16. Germany has the will-power, the skills and the belief to put a defeat like this behind us, there is no resignation in the camp or self-doubt.”

With Klose suspended for the next game, Löw will be forced to replace his striker and Brazil-born Cacau is favourite to start.

Löw has five players on yellow cards and a further booking for any of them against Ghana would see them miss the Last 16 game, should Germany progress, but the coach said he would not be telling his players to hold back.

“We have a few players who are on a yellow as far as the next game is concerned, but I will not tell the squad to keep their cards close to their chest or to play with the handbrake on,” said Löw.

“I will not tell them to hold back mentally, I want them to apply the right level of positive aggression. There may be a risk of players picking up a ban, but that must not be an excuse to hold back. Attack is an important part of our game.”

In the match with Serbia, Spanish referee Alberto Undiano dished out nine yellow cards and Löw was unpleasantly surprised by the number of bookings.

“I was surprised, in a negative way, about the amount of yellow cards,” said the 50-year-old whose side received five yellow cards, as well as Klose’s red.

“It goes without saying that brutal tackles need to be given a yellow or even a red card, but such silly fouls shouldn’t be punished.”

But Löw said the match was in no way an unfair game and the number of yellow cards was unwarranted.

“Klose could have jockeyed the guy, he knew he was in dangerous territory after the earlier booking, but Klose is not an unfair player, all he wanted to do was get the ball.”

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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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