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FOOTBALL

Ballack unlikely to play again in 2010

Germany captain Michael Ballack is not expected to play football again in 2010 after it was revealed on Wednesday his knee injury is worse than first thought.

Ballack unlikely to play again in 2010
Photo: DPA

The 34-year-old fractured the tibia just below his left knee in a Bundesliga match against Hannover last month, but a further examination has revealed more bad news.

The defensive midfielder now needs to wear a protective cast for the next four to six weeks to allow the injury to heal.

“The injury is more serious than thought and as a result Michael will be unavailable until the end of the year,” said his club Bayer Leverkusen in a statement.

Ballack picked up the injury on only his third game back after damaging ligaments in his right ankle last May which kept him out of the World Cup finals.

Having spent four years at Chelsea, Ballack returned to the German league this season with Leverkusen, but the latest set-back is a blow to both his club coach Jupp Heynckes and national trainer Joachim Löw.

“This development is very unfortunate. But I hope that Michael Ballack will return stronger after his rehab and we can focus on his return for the second half of the season,” said Heynckes.

With 98 caps to his name, Ballack has already missed Germany’s first two Euro 2012 qualifiers and sits out Friday’s game against Turkey in Berlin and next Tuesday’s match against Kazakhstan in Astana.

Ballack will also miss Germany’s friendly against Sweden in Gothenburg on November 17, but Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff urged the captain ‘not to worry’ about his latest setback and says he will come back stronger.

“Of course, it is another setback both for Michael and especially for Bayer Leverkusen,” said Bierhoff at a press conference in Berlin. “He will get a longer break now. That will be good for him. Then he can attack again with renewed energy.”

AFP/ka

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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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