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FOOTBALL

Germany close in on Euro 2012

A Miroslav Klose double gave Germany a big push towards Euro 2012 qualification, as they trounced minnows Kazakhstan 4-0 at home on Saturday to keep their unbeaten record in Group A.

Germany close in on Euro 2012
Photo: DPA

The win sent Joachim Löw’s side eight points clear of the chasing pack in Group A, with Belgium, Austria and Turkey all seeking to close the gap on Tuesday. Kazakhstan remain point-less and goal-less at the bottom of the group.

“We know they weren’t a great side although they were compact and defended pretty well but I’m pleased with my goals at the beginning and the end of the game,” said Klose after the game.

Löw had called on his men to entertain against their lowly opponents, ranked 132 in the world, and his players did not take long to warm the crowd up, taking the lead within three minutes.

Dreadful Kazakhstan defending allowed Bayern Munich striker Klose to sneak in completely unmarked at the back post from a free-kick on the left and slot the ball home from less than a yard out.

In the first half, the visitors’ goal was under constant siege and Germany missed a couple of gilt-edged chances before finally doubling their advantage in the 25th minute.

Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Özil whipped in another set-piece, from the right this time, into a crowded penalty box and Thomas Müller beat his marker to the header, nodding it smartly into the corner.

And Müller made it three just before the break, chesting down another cross from Özil, finding himself totally unmarked in front of goal and firing it past the hapless David Loria between the Kazakhstan posts.

With Germany enjoying almost unlimited possession, the second half began with the feeling of a training game and the sell-out crowd at the Fritz-Walter Stadium, home to Bundesliga club Kaiserslautern, began to show its frustration.

The visitors even had a few breakaway chances of their own, forcing goalkeeper Manuel Neuer into two sharp saves.

Even the introduction of the Bundesliga’s top scorer, Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez, did not give Germany the required cutting edge as they too often tried to pass the ball into the net.

Another pin-point pass from the impressive Özil found his club colleague Sami Khedira in the 81st minute, but the midfielder could only head wide, capping a frustrating second half for the home side.

But the dependable Klose gave the fans something to cheer about on their way home, tapping home a fourth just before the end for his 61st international goal, bringing him within seven of Gerd Müller’s all-time German record.

“I think the first half was good,” said Löw. “We scored three goals and had plenty of chances against a team that played very defensively. But in the second half, we didn’t keep up the tempo from the first half and we played a bit too slowly.”

Captain Philipp Lahm said, “We did well in the first half, but we were not so good in the second, that was clear.”

Müller said: “We are pleased we won the game and I think it looks good for us in terms of qualification now.”

AFP/bk

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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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