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FOOTBALL

Lahm to Ballack: I want to stay on as captain

Germany skipper Philipp Lahm has warned Michael Ballack in an interview that he wants to remain captain of the national side after the World Cup.

Lahm to Ballack: I want to stay on as captain
Photo: DPA

“The captain’s role has brought me a lot of pleasure. It’s a real joy. Why would I want to give it back?” the Bayern Munich full-back told Bild newspaper on Tuesday.

Lahm will earn his 71st cap on Wednesday when he leads Germany out for the World Cup semi-final against Spain in Durban, having taken over as captain when Ballack was forced to miss the World Cup through injury.

“I’d love to keep the armband, I want more responsibilities. But we will see what happens.”

Lahm, at 26, is seven years younger than Ballack, who has won 98 caps but whose international future is in doubt. In the wake of Germany’s powerful defeats of England and Argentina, some commentators argued that Ballack’s absence has actually given the national team a new shot of dynamism.

Lahm said that Ballack ”doesn’t appear to have answered yes or no” to the question of whether he wanted to return as captain.

Meanwhile, midfielder Sami Khedira, who has been suffering from a right thigh injury, was on Monday deemed fit to play in the match against Spain, coach Joachim Löw said.

“Khedira will return to training. All the players are available for the match with the exception of Cacau, who remains doubtful,” said Löw.

Stuttgart midfielder Khedira was substituted in the 77th minute of Saturday’s 4-0 quarter-final win over Argentina and was forced to skip training on Sunday.

Brazilian-born striker Cacau, who picked up a stomach muscle injury last week, has now suffered a back injury.

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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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