Kazakhstan preps for tough match against Germany

Bernd Stork faces his toughest test as Kazakhstan coach on Tuesday as his underdogs take on his native Germany in their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

Kazakhstan preps for tough match against Germany
Photo: DPA

The sides, who have never met before at international level, are currently in diametrically opposite positions in their Group A table.

World Cup bronze medallists Germany maintained their perfect record with a confident 3-0 home win over Turkey on Friday as Kazakhstan suffered their third consecutive defeat at the hands of Belgium.

Tuesday’s match at Astana could be the last test for Stork, who has been working in the Central Asian republic since autumn 2008.

The 47-year-old had been set a task of collecting three points against Belgium and Germany but after Friday’s defeat this mission looks unrealizable.

Stork, however, believes that anything is possible for his team at home.

“Germany are almost the perfect team with a flawless game,” he admitted. “But in one single game everything is possible and we shall do our best to produce a miracle on October 12.”

Whatever the outcome he insisted that he remains committed to the Kazakh team.

“I can resign, it’s not a problem,” Stork said. “However, the matter doesn’t concern me. We’re speaking about our main goal: to make the Euro-2016 finals. Our young players have already collected vital experience. Our team is a team for the future and we need to be patient.”

Kazakhstan will however be without several first-line players on Tuesday.

Defender Alexander Kislitsyn will miss the tie after being sent off against Belgium as will midfielder Andrei Karpovich.

But they can take heart as Germany have also suffered losses with former captain Michael Ballack still unavailable with injury along with Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Midfielder Mesut Özil is also an injury doubt after limping off at the end of the Turkey game with an ankle injury.

Germany have however been buoyed by their win over Turkey.

“The team showed they really wanted this,” said coach Joachim Löw. “I hadn’t expected to win by such a big amount, because it was always going to be a difficult game. For the Turks, the game was always going to be a matter of honour.”

Germany skipper Philipp Lahm added: “It’s impressive how well the team is playing at the moment. Nine points from three games and now we have defeated our strongest opponent in the group.”


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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.