Löw defends new Real duo against Mourinho gripe

Germany coach Joachim Löw has leapt to the defence of Real Madrid's new boys Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil after their club coach Jose Mourinho grumbled about the German pair's lack of Spanish.

Löw defends new Real duo against Mourinho gripe
Photo: DPA

Real coach Mourinho told a Spanish newspaper he is concerned about the German midfielders, who joined Real after the World Cup, as neither can yet speak Spanish and are not mixing with their team-mates.

“The two Germans don’t have an easy life,” Mourinho told Spanish newspaper AS.

“Their participation socially in the squad is zero. Özil lives with Khedira and Khedira with Özil. They don’t speak Spanish, they say ‘buenos dias’ and ‘hola’ and that is about it. They do not even speak English. They speak English a little better than Spanish, but it is difficult to communicate with them,” he said.

Having both enhanced their reputations with stellar performances at the World Cup in South Africa, Özil and Khedira will play for Germany against Belgium in Brussels on Friday in the first Euro 2012 qualifier.

Löw has said the pair cannot be expected to have learnt Spanish already having only joined Real in the last few months and added he could not understand Mourinho’s concerns.

“You cannot expect that a player can speak a new language after only three or four weeks in a foreign country,” said Löw. “I have spoken with them and they impressed me. They told me that they were very well received at Real.”

Both Özil and Khedira came off the bench in the second-half of Real’s 0-0 draw with Mallorca at the weekend and Khedira missed his best chance to score with a header.

The pair flew into Frankfurt on Tuesday to meet up with the national side before the trip to Brussels and insisted they were enjoying life in Spain and were eager to work on the language.

“It’s colder in Germany, but it’s very nice to be back amongst German colleagues,” said Khedira, who has found an apartment for him and Özil and said he wants to learn the language as quickly as possible.

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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.