Ballack left out of squad – again

Michael Ballack's international exile continues after he was left out of the 23-man Germany squad announced Thursday for the friendly against Uruguay and next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Ballack left out of squad - again
Photo: DPA

The 34-year-old has not now played for Germany since March 2010 after suffering back-to-back injuries last year, and he has struggled to get a regular place in the Bayer Leverkusen team since making his return in January.

He has been left out of the Germany squad to face Uruguay on May 29 in Sinsheim before the Group A leaders take on Austria, on June 3, and Azerbaijan, on June 7, in Vienna and Baku respectively, in Euro 2012 qualifiers.

“Michael has not been nominated for the next three internationals,” confirmed coach Joachim Löw in a statement. “The decision has been discussed with him.

“In the past few weeks, we have been in constant contact and we met in person at the end of March.”

According to reports in the German media, ex-captain Ballack is set to win his 99th – and final – cap against Brazil in a friendly in Stuttgart on August 10, which would double as his farewell.

In his absence, Ballack’s Leverkusen team-mate Simon Rolfes is back in the squad after more than 18 months away from international football following a knee injury.

Löw has called up 21-year-old midfielder Marco Reus from Borussia Mönchengladbach while Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira has been included despite picking up a leg injury.

“Marco has been developing well and is a good prospect,” said Löw.

“In recent weeks he has played very well in the Bundesliga and has been extremely dangerous.”

The friendly against the South Americans at the end of the month will be a rematch of the third place play-off at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which the Germans won 3-2.

Having won all five of their Euro 2012 qualifiers, Germany are five points clear at the top of Group A and on course to qualify for the four-week long tournament to be held in Poland and the Ukraine in June 2012.


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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.