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FOOTBALL

Die Mannschaft streaks ahead in Euro 2012 qualifiers

Goal-machine Germany has kept its perfect Euro 2012 qualifiers record with another convincing win, beating Kazakhstan 3-0 on Tuesday night to extend its lead in Group A.

Die Mannschaft streaks ahead in Euro 2012 qualifiers
Photo: DPA

The win was in stark contrast to England’s bitterly disappointing Group G goalless draw at Wembley with Montenegro. Ugly hooligan violence by Serbian fans, meanwhile, disrupted their team’s game against Italy in Genoa.

Miroslav Klose, Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolski all scored for Germany to give the team a maximum 12 points – five ahead of Austria, who drew a topsy-turvy game 4-4 in Belgium.

Coach Joachim Löw was delighted.

“We have 12 points and we are in a good place. I cannot ask for more,” he said.

England’s loss, meanwhile, means Montenegro tops Group G on 10 points to England’s seven, though the small Balkans nation has played one more game. Skipper Rio Ferdinand rued the match as an opportunity missed.

“These are the sort of games we should be winning,” the defender conceded.

World champions Spain – who beat Germany in the last European championship final as well as the last World Cup semi final, briefly threw away a two-goal lead at Hampden Park before Fernando Llorente conjured a close-range winner barely three minutes after coming on in place of David Silva.

The 3-2 win ensured that the world and European champions maintained their run of winning all their qualifiers going back to a 2007 draw with Iceland – 17 matches ago.

David Villa was earlier on target from the spot with his 44th Spanish goal to go level with record marksman Raul while Andres Iniesta also netted with Steven Naismith and a Gerard Pique own goal briefly giving Scotland fans hope.

World Cup finalists Holland are also in a good place after Jan Claas Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay scored a brace each against the Swedes.

Liverpool fans will be fuming, though, after forward Dirk Kuyt was taken to hospital with a right ankle injury, having only recently returned from shoulder problems.

Events in Genoa, Italy, cast a shadow over the evening as hooliganism reared its ugly head, Serbian supporters throwing flares onto the pitch to force the postponement of their match with the Azzurri.

Following a half-hour delay, Scottish referee Craig Thomson stopped the encounter after just six minutes when a flare appeared to hit Italy goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano.

After police struggled to maintain order at the Marassi stadium, officials finally called off the match following meetings between UEFA, the Italian and Serbian Football Associations and the referee.

There had been problems before the game in the centre of town while Serbia’s goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic was attacked by his own fans.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli told reporters: “We’re not playing, I’ve never

seen anything like this before.

“It seemed organised, listening to the Serbian players it turns out their team coach was attacked.

“Before the game the Serbian goalkeeper (Stojkovic) was in our dressing room and wasn’t just afraid to play he was also afraid for his return home, he didn’t understand anything.”

Stojkovic used to play for Red Star Belgrade but now plays for Patizan Belgarde, angering hardcore Red Star fans.

Elsewhere, Russia head Group B following a 1-0 win in Macedonia after a Robbie Keane missed penalty saw the Republic of Ireland blew a chance to stay in pole position on the way to a 1-1 draw in Slovakia.

The Irish had taken the lead through Sean St Ledger before Slovakia equalised through Jan Durica. Russia lead the Irish and Slovaks by two points.

In Group D, France are emerging from their World Cup nightmare and sit atop Group D after a routine 2-0 victory over Luxembourg, courtesy of goals in either half from Karim Benzema and Yoann Gourcuff.

Belarus, who shocked France in the opening match, are only a solitary point adrift after a 2-0 win over Albania.

Cristiano Ronaldo meanwhile sent Portugal on their way to a 3-1 victory in Iceland with an early goal but his side stay two points behind early leaders Norway.

AFP/dw

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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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