Beckenbauer suggests playing Qatar World Cup in January

German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has suggested that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar be held in January to avoid the searing summer heat in the Persian Gulf country.

Beckenbauer suggests playing Qatar World Cup in January
Photo: DPA

A member of the FIFA executive committee that stunned the world on Thursday by according the 2022 tournament to the tiny emirate, Beckenbauer said that it would be wrong to stage the event in the traditional close-season period of June and July.

“We need to consider this solution of January and February when in Qatar the temperatures are around a pleasant 25 degrees,” he told Bild newspaper.

“Why would that not be acceptable? The schedules for the big European leagues are due to be changed in 2012 and that would mean the impact would be less.

“Also it would be a viable alternative to the huge expenses involved in setting up air-conditioning for the stadiums and the fan zones.”

Beckenbauer, a World Cup winner both as a player and a manager, refused to say who he had voted for in Zurich when the World Cup hosts for 2018 and 2022 were designated.

But he did admit to being left lost for words by Qatar getting the nod for 2022 ahead of the United States, Australia, Japan and South Korea.

“What astonishes me is that Australia was eliminated in the first round of voting, just like England (for 2018), but I am sure Russia will be an excellent host in 2018).”

Beckenbauer has already said that he will stand down from the 22-strong FIFA executive next year.


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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.