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FOOTBALL

Football boss calls for Qatar bribery probe

The head of Germany's football federation, Theo Zwanziger, called on Wednesday for FIFA to re-examine the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar over bribery allegations.

Football boss calls for Qatar bribery probe
Zwanziger (r) and FIFA boss Blatter at last year's World Cup. Photo: DPA

“I think there is a significant degree of suspicion that one cannot just dismiss,” Zwanziger told ZDF public television, when asked about calls for the sport’s world governing body to take away the event from Qatar.

“And that is why I reckon that the awarding of this World Cup must be re-examined with regard to these concerns,” he said.

“I do not want to comment on how that might happen until I know more about the matter. I am an outsider and not a member of the executive committee,” the DFB president added.

Qatar 2022 World Cup organisers on Monday “categorically denied” any wrongdoing, after claims by suspended FIFA vice-president Jack Warner that the Arab country “bought” the world’s biggest sports extravaganza.

FIFA has been rocked by an unprecedented wave of corruption revelations of late, stemming from the race to host the 2018 and 2022 editions of the World Cup, which Russia and Qatar won in December.

Two FIFA officials were suspended after a newspaper sting found they offered to sell their votes, while England’s former 2018 bid chief said he witnessed “improper and unethical” behaviour by four FIFA voters, including Warner.

Asian football chief Mohamed bin Hammam, seen as highly influential in Qatar’s successful bid, and officials from the tiny, resource-rich country have strongly denied claims that large bribes were paid to secure its shock victory.

Despite the crisis, embattled FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who has led the body since 1998, is favourite to be re-elected unopposed for a fourth term Wednesday.

AFP/djw

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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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