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FOOTBALL

Löw expects slugfest against Austrians in Euro 2012 qualifier

Germany coach Joachim Löw said his side was preparing for a battle against Austria when the two neighbours face off on Friday in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Vienna.

Löw expects slugfest against Austrians in Euro 2012 qualifier
Photo: DPA

“After two defeats, Austria is like a wounded boxer,” Löw told a press conference at the Ernst-Happel stadium in the Austrian capital on the eve of the match.

“They’re going to throw everything into this game and we’re going to stand up against that. So I don’t expect any great football moments but a heated, intensive slugfest.

“The Austrians’ motivation could not be greater. Without a top performance on our part, it’s going to be hard,” added Löw.

Five points clear at the top of Group A after winning all their qualifying games, Germany will be without Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Per Mertesacker, while Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira was still doubtful ahead of Thursday evening’s final training session.

At least Lukas Podolski, who is carrying a light injury, has been declared it to play. Goalie Manuel Neuer will be making his first appearance since Wednesday’s confirmation of his munch-anticipated move from Schalke to Bayern Munich.

Dietmar Constantini’s Austria meanwhile can count on five players who have made their mark in Bundesliga clubs and will be hoping they can help revive a Euro 2012 campaign that has recently suffered due to paltry losses against Belgium and Turkey.

One player who has not made the squad is Marko Arnautovic, who was disciplined by his German club Werder Bremen in the latter stages of the season for going out to nightclubs.

Austria, eight points off the pace of Germany, goes into the match as the clear underdog but has warned the team will show Germany no respect as it goes in search of a shock result.

“We’re complete underdogs and have nothing to lose. We want to anger big brother, and maybe that will be enough for a draw or even a great upset,” captain and Twente striker Mark Janko said ahead of the sold-out qualifier.

“Inferiority complexes have no place here, everything’s possible in football,” added coach Constantini Thursday, urging his players to show the Germans “a dash of insanity and zero respect”.

Löw and Constantini have had plenty of time to get to know their opponents having both coached clubs in each other’s country.

The last time the two sides met, also at the Ernst-Happel stadium at Euro 2008, Germany beat Austria 1-0, eliminating the host country and securing their place in the quarter-finals.

For Germany, Friday will be just the first of two Euro 2012 outings in a week: on June 7, Löw’s side face Azerbaijan in Baku.

AFP/hc

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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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