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FOOTBALL

Löw says winter World Cup in Qatar bad for fans

Germany coach Joachim Löw said Wednesday he was opposed to playing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during winter, saying it would be unfair to fans in Europe.

Löw says winter World Cup in Qatar bad for fans
Photo: DPA

Speaking to Sport Bild, Löw pointed to the atmosphere generated at home during the last two World Cups in Germany and South Africa by fans watching matches on giant screens in open spaces.

Asked if the 2022 tournament should be played in January, he replied: “I really do not think that can be done because I also see the tournament from another point of view: that of the fans.”

“At the World Cup in 2006, the European Championships in 2008 and the World Cup in 2010, there were millions on the streets … if the World Cup in 2022 takes place in winter, no fan is going to be on the street if it’s minus five degrees,” he added.

After football’s world governing body FIFA decided to award the World Cup to the Gulf emirate, there were fears that the searing heat in June and July would make the tournament dangerous for players and fans alike.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter has said he would support moves to stage the tournament during the winter months, but warned that such an action would be difficult to implement.

Speaking last month, Blatter said: “It is important to play when the climate is appropriate and I’m thinking about the footballers, not only the fans but the participants.”

“Personally I think it would be better that it is played in the winter … but it’s not easy to realise.”

German legend Franz Beckenbauer, a FIFA executive committee member, and FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke are among those who have also voiced support for a switch of dates.

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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