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FOOTBALL

Löw targets Euro or World Cup glory

Germany coach Joachim Löw said Monday his side can win Euro 2012 or the 2014 World Cup after showing itself to be one of football's most consistent teams.

Löw targets Euro or World Cup glory
Photo: DPA

“My gut feeling … is that our team can win a title in 2012 or in 2014,” Löw told sports weekly Kicker in an interview.

“Looking back, together with Spain we really are one of the most consistent teams. In the last two years our performances have got better and better … It’s only when this happens that you can win championships.”

Germany finished third in the World Cup in South Africa earlier this year, demolishing England 4-1 and Argentina 4-0 in some of the tournament’s most exciting football. They lost to eventual winners Spain in the semi-finals.

Germany have four wins from four qualifiers for Euro 2012, due to be held in Ukraine and Poland, and are top of Group A with a five-point lead over their rivals.

Löw, whose trademark “lucky” blue cashmere sweater worn during the World Cup sold for €1 million ($1.3 million) for charity on Saturday, also rejected accusations there were too many youngsters in the side.

“I have ascertained that quality and technical ability are more important than experience. I don’t care if someone is only 18 and has only played 10 Bundesliga games,” Löw said.

“I measure players but what they can they do and by what possibilities I see for them.”

In 2011, they face Italy in a friendly in Dortmund, western Germany on February 9 and then South American giants Brazil in August at home, as well as five more Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Löw also said that the Italy clash would be too early for Ballack – who would have captained Germany in the World Cup but for injury – to return to the side.

“I know from talking to him that he is really fighting to make a comeback and wants to remain as a player in the national side,” Löw said.

“But he was injured for half a year. We have to give him some time to return to form … He is not fully back in training with the team (Bayer Leverkusen) and before February 9 there are only four Bundesliga games.”

Ballack returned to the Bundesliga at the start of the season after four years with English side Chelsea, and joined Leverkusen, but a serious knee injury on only his third game back saw him miss the rest of 2010.

Last week he accused Philipp Lahm, who captained Germany in the World Cup, of a lack of “respect” after the Bayern Munich defender said he hoped to stay in charge even if Ballack came back.

In his absence, Bayern star Bastian Schweinsteiger and Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira have formed a strong midfield partnership for the national side and Ballack has admitted he may struggle to win back his place.

AFP/mry

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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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